If you're like me, you have probably experienced or often suffer from Shiny Ball Syndrome. It typically occurs in ambitious individuals and is particularly plaguing to those of us in the fitness industry who care so much about helping as many people as we can. Shiny Ball Syndrome is when you chronically fall victim to committing to opportunities that are really just distractions, incognito. You're drawn to these opportunities like shiny objects because they may seem like a good idea at the time, but what they are really doing is pulling you further away from your ultimate goals.

Some of the typical symptoms include: committing your time to a lot of unrelated tasks, projects or types of training simultaneously (i.e. your training schedule includes kids, pregnant women, athletes and seniors - but you really only have a passion for training athletes); you have a compulsion to say 'yes' to every possible opportunity that comes your way; you are overstretched with your schedule, as well as physically and mentally tired or unmotivated; you often feel like you're just trading your time for dollars but not earning the value you really deserve; or you feel like you're so far away from what you really are passionate about that you can't even remember why you started a career in fitness in the first place.

Shiny Ball Syndrome is most deadly when you don't even realize it. It often is the result of impatience or even desperation. Sometimes we take on opportunities because we need the money or chalk it up to doing it for the sake of experience.

3 tips to avoid Shiny Ball Syndrome so you stay on course for your goals:
1. "Fall forward" three years from today. Three years is a realistic timeframe to set a timeline of your vision. Set a clear action plan based on where you see yourself three years from now. Who are you working with? What does your career look like? How much money are you making? What does a typical day look like for you? Create a clear plan so when a 'shiny' opportunity arises you can ask yourself if it will help get you closer to your end goal.
2. Learn to say no. Say 'no' to those shiny balls that might seem like a good opportunity at the time, but aren't in-line with your ultimate goals; and be empowered by it!
3. Remain flexible. When you have a clear sense of where you are going, you can be flexible in how you get there. - Simon Sinek

You must learn to identify these shiny balls and tell yourself that for every shiny ball you say no to, you're opening up the possibility for an opportunity to arise that will take you one step closer to your long-term goals.

Too many entrepreneurs and career-driven individuals get so far off-track as a result of Shiny Ball Syndrome, but don't realize it until several years down the road. Focus on that long-term vision, be able to spot distractions along the way and seek out those opportunities that keep you on course!