Transition Time is Not Just for Kindergarteners

focus Aug 05, 2021

“One, Two, Three, all eyes on me!”

When a kindergarten teacher calls out this chant to a rowdy group of five-year-olds, something magical happens. The kids chant back “One, Two, Three eyes on you,” and suddenly, the classroom has gone from chaos to focused attention.

We don’t have to leave this magic in grade school. Find a comfy place on the carpet because today’s story is all about the power of transitions.

Let’s brainstorm for a minute the transitions you come across in a day:

  • Getting out of bed
  • Heading off to work
  • Moving from one project (or errand) to the next
  • Ending your workday
  • Picking the kids up from school
  • Meeting with a coworker or friend
  • Going to bed

This list can go on and on, but you get the idea. I’m not talking about significant life changes here, just the small changes that happen in the course of your day.

Have you thought about those changes? What you do in the moments before you walk into the gym or sit down at your desk can make a difference in your focus.

Life Lessons from Lagree

My obsession with Lagree (a high-intensity workout using pilates reformers) began about two years. It is an effective but FAST class with quick transitions between exercises. The instructor will set you up for the next exercise verbally while you are performing the one before it. Then there is no time to stop and take a sip of water a simple 1,2,3, and you move into the next.

On occasion, I lose focus and fail to set up correctly. Once my haste resulted in a back spasm, and I was in recovery mode for the rest of the week. An eye-opening experience as to why I need to pay attention to the moments in between.

It would be nice if we all had coaches to prompt us through life outside the gym. But there are a few hacks for how you can set yourself up for success moving from one task into the next.

Break Time

When you are working either in your career or around the house, take time to pause between projects. Think of ways you can refuel your body both mentally and physically. Get up and walk around if you have been sitting for some time. Repeat a mantra or quote that will prepare you for the next task on your list.

I have an app on my phone that pumps me up with motivational quotes. When I need to find the drive to dive into a difficult task, I will pop on here for a quick second for a mindset shift.


A major stumbling block is the transition back home at the end of each day. Many couples fight when the other returns from a day of work. You pull into the garage with your head full of the problems in your job or during your day. A whole new set of challenges attack when you walk in the door. Homework, dinner plans, and a spouse who wants to talk to you about why XYZ didn’t get done yesterday.

Instead of charging into the house, stop to pet your dog. As you scratch behind his ear and watch his tail wag, remind yourself that these are the people you love the most. Now those pleads for help with homework or questions about dinner seem less aggressive.

If you don’t have a dog, no problem, choose another ritual or reminder that works for you. One idea is to take something off that symbolizes work (like a badge) before you walk through that door.

This is My Fight Song

Music has a powerful effect on our mood and focus. It could be just the thing we need to check that next thing off our list.

Do you have a fight song? Something that you play to get your head in the game. If not, brainstorm a few of your favorite right now and start blasting it when you need to shift into high gear.

Take Time to Notice

Those tiny moments that pass as we move from place to place often go unnoticed. However, if we take the time to pay attention, they can set us up to powerfully execute throughout our day.

And here’s a big shout out to all those Kindgeraten teachers out there…You do learn everything you need to know when you are five years old.

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