Society rewards people who achieve conventional goals.
In our goal-oriented world, people are encouraged to focus on finite goals, outcomes and results, with little regard for the process to achieve goals.
The irony of success is that if you pay enough attention to the process, real progress or a better output is inevitable.
The outcome is not always in our control.
The problem with outcome goals is that you can quickly lose confidence if you don’t hit your target. Many people believe that they will be happy once they reach or arrive at a specific goal.
Their life satisfaction is hugely dependent on achieving their goals. But according to happiness experts, achieving goals doesn’t guarantee happiness: it can even lead to depression and toxic emotions.
One of the most important aspects of any endeavour is the journey.
Focusing on your process rather than results can help you navigate challenging times and grow as an individual. It can also help you find more fulfilment and enjoyment in your tasks.
James Clear explains, “Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.”
Many people often feel like they’re not successful unless they achieve a goal or reach a certain level of performance. This leads to self-loathing, disappointment, and even depression when they don’t reach their expectations.
It’s what you do — not how it turns out — that matters.
You might not achieve your goal today or tomorrow, or next week, but if you focus on your process and give it all you’ve got every single day, it’ll happen eventually. And that feeling will be so much better than anything else!
Process goals are completely in your control
“If you want to succeed in any area of your life, “concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results, focus on the process, not the prize.” — Bill Walsh.
Making progress every day without a strict or finite goal in mind is a better way to achieve what you want.
By all means, make plans. Think about what you expect from your life or career, but focus more on the continuous process of making progress.
When we focus too much on results, we often beat ourselves up when things don’t go as planned or when obstacles get in our way.
But when we shift our perspective and start focusing more on how far we’ve come rather than how far we have left to go, things start looking a lot brighter.
It’s easy to get frustrated with our progress or lack thereof. I’ve lost 10 pounds, but now I’ve put 5 back on! Why am I not getting the results I want? Why am I not making enough money on Medium? It’s so frustrating. Expectations can make you miserable.
Instead of focusing on the result, what if you focused on the process? What if you stopped thinking about your weight and started thinking about taking care of your body daily?
What if you stopped worrying about Medium income and focused on writing quality articles consistently?
That could be one step in the right direction.
“The process is about doing the right things, right now. Not worrying about what might happen later, or the results, or the whole picture,” says Ryan Holiday.
Here are three ways that focusing on the process will help you get better results:
1) It’ll make you more efficient.
2) It’ll give you a sense of accomplishment as you see yourself getting closer to your goal.
3) You won’t feel as disheartened if your results don’t go as planned.
So instead of waiting for that big payoff or patting yourself on the back when you reach your goal, focus on taking one step at a time and enjoying how each step leads up to your complete result.
When you start focusing on making better progress every day instead of the results, you will do more great work, and you will most likely achieve more than you did in the past.
This post was previously published on Personal Growth.
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