Whatever your motivation—to lose weight, get a graduate degree, learn to ski—attention is the link between your goal and the resources you bring to it. Sometimes your objective is immediate and practical: “I need a snack.” Other times it’s enduring and abstract: “I will stay fit for life.” Yet a still-mysterious interaction between your neurophysiology and your goal obtains on the immediate plane of “I want food now” and the long-term level of “I want a long, healthy life.” Attention’s selective nature will enhance the value of things that are relevant to your objective, from a doughnut right this minute to maintaining lifetime fitness. The challenge often lies in balancing your focus between your present goal (a snack) and your far-reaching one (fitness) so that you choose an apple.
In a world that constantly demands our attention be shifting from one place to the next, it is indeed a challenge to keep focused on our goals.
Stopping to consider our thought patterns, and their respective outcomes, goes a long way to keeping a tight motivational push.