Focusing on One Thing at a Time

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by Sean Baumstark |

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I recently wrote about the importance of developing habits and disciplines that will help us move toward particular goals and objectives. Although that isn’t a new or jaw-dropping concept, actually taking action in that direction can be harder than we often admit.

I appreciate the principles and perspectives that author Darren Hardy offers to his readers on business and entrepreneurial efforts. In his book “The Compound Effect,” Hardy talks about the momentum we gain after performing a habit or discipline consistently over time.

An easy example is centered around money and the interest money can earn when letting someone else, like a bank, use your money to help fund their objectives. If you store your cash under your mattress, it will only grow as you add more money to the stash. However, if you let a bank hang on to that cash, they’ll pay you interest for letting them store it for you.

I read an article today that reminded readers that Tesla stock sold for $17 per share at its initial public offering. As I write this, that share price closed today at roughly $2,240. That doesn’t necessarily fall in the category of “interest earned,” but it certainly showcases the compound effect of time and consistency.

It’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed when I think about the never-ending list of things I want to do, including what I want to accomplish, places I want to visit, and skills I want to hone in on. When I look at my own big picture through this lens, it’s difficult to see how any of it will be feasible or even possible.

However, when I consider one thing at a time and develop a plan around just that one thing, the end result comes into focus and I can begin anticipating the reality of those accomplishments.

I co-host a podcast with my friend Kyle Bryant, who also lives with Friedreich’s ataxia. We’ve affectionately titled our show the “Two Disabled Dudes,” which comes from a humorous point of triumph in a documentary we are both featured in, titled “The Ataxian.

We are currently in season four of our podcast, and in this season, we are closing every episode with a commitment to just one thing we can do that week to move closer and closer to some overarching personal goals.

By committing ourselves to that one specific and measurable action, we are allowing ourselves to be held accountable and setting ourselves up for success due to the “public” nature of our commitments.

I have found it easier to procrastinate or skip a good habit (like going to the gym) when only I know what my original intention was in the first place.

I am also celebrating small wins on a weekly basis right now because I’m choosing to focus on one thing at a time. When we tell ourselves that we just “don’t have time” or we have “too much to do,” we’re giving our attention to the barrier and not the solution. Focusing on anything other than the solution is just an excuse to avoid the work, or the action, necessary to get things done.


Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Friedreich’s Ataxia News or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Friedreich’s ataxia.


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