Love the Process AND the Goal
Have you ever heard the expression, “Love the journey but not the destination”?
I was reading a journal entry from last year. I had written about how frustrated I was with the process of building my business. I was getting tired of the repetitive tasks. These were things like, writing posts, editing, creating images for social media, creating videos, etc.
It felt like a non-stop process. One in which I was worrying about how to promote my business, and how to complete the mounting tasks. These tasks began to feel overwhelming. They were blocking my view, my dream, my vision of what the goal was for my business.
Love the journey…
Out of no where the expression came to mind, “Love the journey and not the destination.” THIS very cliché was part of my problem!
Yes, you need to love the journey – the process and all the daily, mundane tasks. BUT if you’re only focused on the goal – the outcome or the destination – what happens if you don’t reach your goal? What happens if you don’t lose that 10 or 20 pounds on your weight loss program? What happens if you don’t earn your income goal by the date you set?
This reminds me of one of my favourite clients. Brian (not his real name) who lost 60 pounds over a year of working with me. He didn’t set a goal to lose 60 pounds. Instead, he had an idea of a healthy weight range that he aspired to reach. Too many times in the past he’d set a weight loss goal and reached it. But shortly after reaching his goal, he went back to old habits, and put back on the weight, plus a few extra pounds.
At that time I suggested he do things differently. And why not? Why not do what you haven’t done before, if what you did before didn’t transform you!
The difference between change and transformation
If you have a weight loss and you reach your goal, but a few months later you’ve gained it all back, your change was temporary. You changed once (weight lost) and you changed again (weight gained back).
When you transform, you change your form for good. It’s almost like doing the work to build a concrete wall. You have to set up two by fours, plywood and steel rods to support the wall. Once you’ve done that work, you pour the concrete. The concrete will only harden into the shape of a wall if there is a structure to support it during the curing process (the hardening or formation). It transforms from a liquid into a permanent, solid state.
Micro commitments vs lofty goals
This time around Brian set up micro goals and mini-commitments over the course of 3, 6, and 12 months. With this process he was able to measure his progress along the way. If something was off, he was able to make course corrections as needed. This helped him to show up to do his workouts. These smaller commitments helped him make better eating choices every day. These are all things he had control over, i.e. the daily actions he could choose to take.
It’s far easier to focus on what you need to do today, or this week as a micro-commitment, instead of a 12-month goal of losing 60 pounds. For example, one of his goals was to eat breakfast every day. He either did or he didn’t. When he didn’t he was able to see his patterns and behaviours to decide what was blocking him. We would discuss his mindset in relation to that one thing, eating breakfast. He practiced one habit at a time, which reduced the overwhelm of focusing on a larger, far-away goal.
All we can ever do is to be present. We can only take action in this moment. If we chose a healthy or helpful practice 80 to 90% of the time, we will more most likely accomplish our desired goals.
What we can’t do is control the outcome or the goal. A goal is something that is measurable. You can quantify a goal with a date, numbers or percentages. Your can design your goal for pounds lost, income earned, or if reaching a sales target by a set date.
Love the goal, but don’t be dependent upon it.
When you set a goal feel that goal as an intention, or an aspiration. Use the feeling and the vision of what that goal will look and feel like when you achieve it to empower you. Next, create your action plan. List the tasks and projects you’ll need to work on to allow for the possibility of achieving that goal.
When you focus on the process and take frequent action, you create the potential for achieving your goal. No amount of vision boarding or affirmations will manifest your gaol. You still need to do the day-to-day work to potentiate the goal. There’s nothing wrong with having a strong vision in your mind of what you want to achieve. Connect your feelings and emotions with how you want to feel in relation to your goal. You can harness this emotional end-goal-state to chose healthy actions in moments of weakness.
Coming back to my successful client, Brian. He accepted the process even when he hated the process. I remember some of those conversations! He learned to accept that this was the work he needed to do. I helped him understand that on some days things were gonna go to shit and fall apart.
A single failure or mis-step is only one day, one out of 365 days over the course of a year. One day divided by 365. That’s a very small fraction! How big of an impact is one failure over 365 daily attempts? When you look at failure in this way, it’s a very small number, one that will have minimal, if any, impact.
This is the approach of the EatMoveBe Well 365 Coaching Program. It’s a way of helping people who may be fixated on the goal, but haven’t connected with how to accept and love the daily actions. I will show you the daily practices to take care of and improve your health one habit at a time. The Program is designed to coach you over the course of a full year. No quick fixes, no crash diets, no 6-week painful exercise programs. These are slow and steady changes that, over the course of a year, lead to lasting health and fitness transformation.
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