Don’t Worry About Setting Goals. Start Focusing On The Process Instead
What is it that you really want to achieve in your life? Become financially independent, raise intelligent children, get six-pack abs, run a marathon, run a profitable business, write a bestselling eBook -what do you really want to accomplish in your life?
The first thing to do when you want to accomplish something in life is to set a specific goal, an actionable goal. At least, that’s what most self-help gurus tell you. This is not something I agree with. Let me explain.
Until recently, I did what most people that read self-help books do. I set goals for my sessions at the gym, for what I wanted to accomplish at work, and even for my relationships.
I’ve however realised that there is a better way to do things when it comes to achieving things that are important to you. There’s a more efficient way to get things done, and that’s by focusing on the process and not so much on the goals.
What’s the difference between setting a goal and the process?
Say you’re an entrepreneur with a tech start-up. You have to hit certain targets to keep your investors happy. Your goal in this case is the target to be achieved. The process – which I think is more important – is what you and your employees do every day.
Similarly, if you are a world class professional athlete like Tom Brady, your goal would be to win the Super Bowl. But your process is the training session in the off-season.
Just like that, if you are an average guy who is completely out of shape and hasn’t exercised for years, your goal is to burn fat fast. The process in this case is to watch what you eat, go for an early morning run, followed by resistance training in the gym.
Focus on the process
See the difference? Now, here’s the question – what if you focused only on the process or the system, and ignored the goals? Would you still accomplish the things you want to in life?
What if you were a football manager like Jose Mourinho of Manchester United and forgot that your goal was to win the UEFA Champions League and instead focused only on how well your team trained and prepared for each match? Would you still get the results you wanted?
Just have a look at all the people who have achieved great things in life, people like Stephen King. King is the bestselling novelist in history who has sold millions of paperbacks.
He may be a prolific author who has written dozens of books, but he doesn’t really care whether a book becomes a success or not. He just focuses on writing 2000 words a day. That’s it.
True experts or masters of their craft like Stephen King focus on the process of doing the work. They know that it’s all about constant application, not about an overarching goal or dream.
Goals are important – don’t get me wrong
The goals you set determine the direction you are headed in. But it is the process that determines your progress.
The process should be something basic and easily achievable, a series of tasks to be done every day, which takes you closer to your goal. Focus on the daily tasks or the process that helps generate the most progress and keep repeating that, day in and day out.
This way, slowly but definitely, you will progress much faster towards your goal. So forget about setting goals, start focusing on the process, starting today!
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