The process of focusing on the process, not on your goal, sounds rather alien doesn’t it? If we set ourselves a goal we wish to achieve, we would usually place all our attention and focus on this end goal and not pay too much attention to the process behind it. Ultimately we just want to achieve our target right? According to an article on Entrepreneur.com, this could be just where you are going wrong…
When you work towards a final goal you place all your emphasis on getting there and until you reach that end state you ultimately ‘are not good enough’. This means you will not be happy and congratulatory of yourself until you reach your milestone, so where is the self-praise for motivation along the way?! Place more focus on smaller steps and achieving daily changes which will lead you to your goal and reduce the stress you place on yourself. “When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.” James Clear.
If you always concentrate on your long-term goal, then what happens when you have achieved that? Focusing on the finish line all the time will create a yo-yo effect where you just swing from one target to the next. If you emphasise the process behind your goal you are more likely to stick it and achieve a longer term result.
Goals make us believe we can try to predict the future. When we set ourselves a target we usually predict our progress through laying out where we will be and by when and do not take into account any issues which could affect our progress. Instead use feedback loops to track progress along the way, for example tracking critical business measures and using this to analyse if what you are doing is paying off. “Forget about predicting the future and build a system that can signal when you need to make adjustments.” James Clear.
Goals are important so that we have direction and something to focus on to make sure we are continually improving ourselves. However, the system behind this is what is key for making positive progress. All you have to do is make sure you commit to it! How do you deal with achieving and setting out ambitions in your work and personal life? Could a ‘process strategy’ rather than a ‘goal strategy’ benefit you?