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Finding focus to resolutely get rid of distractions

By Joseph Pond

I remember watching the closing ceremony of the London Olympics at which the Spice Girls were scheduled to reunite. This had been hyped up for days. About 10.30pm or so, my wife asked me, "Are you coming to bed now?" I replied, "In a few minutes. I just want to see the Spice Girls."

My clever wife raised her eyebrow inquisitively, asking, "Since when have you liked them?" Her question pulled the wool from my eyes. "Oh, yeah," I suddenly remembered. "I'm not even a fan."

Many of you will make New Year's resolutions which you won't keep. Every year I give a workshop on how to set achievable resolutions and I explain why they usually fail.

The short answer is: distractions. If you want your resolutions to start coming true, stop distracting yourself with all the hype about the stuff you don't need in your life.

Turn off the TV, the phone and the internet. Most of us fill our day with something. Since you're not going to find additional time the question really is, what are you going to give up? It's what you're doing when you're not doing what you need to be doing that's the problem.

The solution boils down to focus. There's no better time to be reminded of this than during the busy and stressful holiday season.

If you find yourself distracted by stuff that doesn't truly nourish your spirit, remember to focus on who you are, and what's important to you.

Mindfulness is so important because it develops this focus. See, when you find yourself distracted like I was, it's because some part of you values the distraction.

For instance, your head may say it wants to lose weight, but your heart may want to comfort itself with mince pies.

When there's inner conflict like this, you're always going to lose.

Mindfulness directs attention to the thinking-mind and the feeling-body. Being present in the moment unites your head and heart.

Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance.Reach him at or at Hypnosis/

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