Are you feeling overwhelmed only thinking about the goals you have set for yourself? Are you asking yourself: Why can I never complete what I set my mind to? Have you had all those brilliant ideas or resolutions just to find yourself deflated a few months or even days later? There is a secret way to achieve your goals and stay motivated in the process.
This approach is truly revolutionary for me. And when I first came across it – suddenly it all made sense. So I wanted to share with you the secret mindset trick, which will make you achieve your goals and resolutions. The secret way to achieve your goals without feeling overwhelmed.
We have been told so much about goal setting. The internet is full of guides and helpful articles on the best ways to achieve your goals. Set SMART goals, write them down, break into more digestible chunks, make sure they are measurable – the list goes on.
But if it was so easy, wouldn’t we just go there and get all the results we want all the time? The thing is that it is not easy.
So why do we so often fail to achieve our long term goals?
The answer is more straightforward than you think. The reason is that we focus on the outcome and forget to enjoy the process.
Achieving goals involves work. And commitment. It requires planning and sticking to those plans. And often so much more. So the process becomes overwhelming, and we quit if we don’t see the results soon enough.
“Set goals not for the outcome itself, but for who you get to become in the process.”— Jim Rohn
Focusing on the process rather than the outcome is the secret way to achieve your goals.
Numerous studies showed that those focusing on the process are more likely to stick to the task and achieve desired goals than those who had the end goal in mind the whole time.
We want instant results. This is how today’s world works. We have so many things readily available and often instantly accessible. Food delivery, online shopping, communication, information.
But we so often forget that beauty is so often in the journey rather than the destination.
So let’s say you decided to learn how to play the guitar. You are so excited! You got yourself this wonderful flashy new instrument, downloaded all the online tutorials and off you go. The next day your fingers are on fire, and two weeks later you can hardly produce a sound that wouldn’t make your dog cry.
You say – ‘I can’t do it, I’m not made for this! I have no talent or abilities to learn. Its too much hard work!’ And you quit because the results were not instant.
You already imagined yourself sitting at the campfire with your friends, playing those cool tunes and having a fabulous time feeling so proud of yourself. You romanticised about walking into the sunset … Sorry I got carried away 🙂
But that’s precisely the problem. You imagined yourself at the end of the journey and skipped the whole getting there process. Of course, you will get discouraged.
And I know exactly how it feels. I used to be a master of not sticking to my resolutions. It took me ten years to do my driving licence. And I did try to learn to play the guitar – with two attempts. Not even mentioning the intention of regular gym going and getting that shredded body I always dreamt of.
But what I always had in mind was the end result and if it didn’t come soon enough – I would quit discouraged.
Let’s take going to the gym. If you say ‘I need to go to the gym to get fit or to change my body’ – this sends a message to your subconscious mind that currently, you are not fit. It already feels like hard work – and you didn’t even put your trainers on.
But what if you shifted your mindset into thinking that you go to the gym because you enjoy taking care of yourself and you feel healthier and full of energy by doing it? This would change everything. You would think – ‘I am this kind of person, and I enjoy working out regardless of the results.’ You will be so much more likely to stick to it, and guess what? You would get fit in the process 🙂
Focusing on the process rather then the outcome will help you build up your confidence.
And building the confidence during the process is also the best way to achieve your goals.
If you compare your current progress to where you want to be in 2 years, you will always think you are progressing too slowly. But if you compare yourself to where you were yesterday – this is an entirely different story. Yesterday you didn’t even know how to hold a guitar. Today you can play three basic chords! Yay!!
When you focus on the process rather than the end result, you will find that you actually enjoy it. You just didn’t give yourself a chance to notice it.
When the child learns how to walk and falls, we don’t say the child is a failure and will never know how to walk. We understand its a process, and we often enjoy observing it. Why are punishing ourselves then, when we fail on the learning journey? Isn’t this the same?
I was extremely frustrated when I started building this website. I would see other beautiful sites and think, ‘how can I ever produce anything like this?’
When I started, I had no idea about anything. But every time I learnt something new, and it produced some results, I was chuffed. I learnt something I never knew I could. The page is still far from where I want it to be. And if I thought about it this way, one year after launching, it would possibly made me quit concluding that blogging is not for me. But I’m still here, mostly because I really enjoy the process of learning and building something from scratch.
And to be frank, this website probably never will where I want it to be. I will never be fully satisfied. And that’s fine because if I was completely happy, the process would end. And I don’t want it to end because I enjoy it! Enjoying the process and growing your confidence is the best way to achieve your goals!
If you shift your attention from the outcome to the process, you will be more open to other possible results
If you focus solely on the outcome, you might miss other opportunities or alternative results. And if things won’t go your imagined way – you will be more likely to give up.
Things don’t always go the way we planned. We cannot control everything, and definitely, we cannot control some external factors.
You fixated yourself on the particular chain of events leading to your desired outcome. And suddenly the circumstances change. The what?
I started a travel blog at the beginning of 2020. We all know what kind of year it was. All travel impossible. Prior, I had envisioned all the trips and upcoming journeys. I planned my articles for at least six months in advance.
None of this happened. But by then, I realised I really enjoyed the process of blogging and learning all the new skills. So I decided I won’t be giving up. So I keep adjusting this blog to current circumstances. Hence, this post 🙂
And who knows where this journey is going to take me!
Sometimes when something doesn’t work out as you wanted, there’s something better coming your way. Although it’s difficult to believe in “something better” from where you stand. Sometimes “redirection” is a helpful “intervention,” leading you away from problems you could not predict. And towards benefits, you could not imagine. Sometimes “mistakes” lead you to lessons learned. And growth gained. All of which will help you to become more. And get more than you might have become and gotten otherwise. – Karen Salmansohn
Shifting your attention from outcome to process will make you accept yourself
There is this thing called – attachment to the outcome.
Let’s go back to playing the guitar at the campsite and feeling good about your friends having a good time and admiring your skills.
Let’s be honest – we all go there.
We don’t always admit it out loud. But whenever we take a project on, we envision the desired outcome. And often this comes along with admiration, gratification, acceptance and often self-acceptance.
Now imagine you started playing that guitar at the party and no one would be impressed. Or you could only play two particular songs, but they all want to sign American Pie and California Dreaming! But, you have not learnt the required chords just yet. The party continues, but no one is interested in your guitar playing any more.
So you feel disappointed. Mostly at yourself. You were so attached to the particular outcome that you don’t feel like learning anymore.
You feel that all the hard work went for nothing, and you failed.
But did you? You played Hey Jude, and it was fun! A year ago, you would not even dream that one day you will be playing an instrument. But this particular outcome you envisioned cancelled all the effort made.
Now imagine, you didn’t have a particular outcome in mind. That you never planned to play for your friends and you just wanted to learn something new and see where it would take you. And one random day someone hands you a guitar at the party and you play one song. You didn’t even know this would happen, but it feels good right?
You are better than you were yesterday. You set on that journey. You allowed the process to surprise you. And you gained confidence and trust in your abilities.
Expectations are the source of unhappiness.
So when we solely focus on the outcome and attach the expectations to it – we are bound to fail.
A lot of our reactions to adverse situations derive from attachment. If you are too attached to the specific outcome, you are more likely no react to criticism in a defensive way. But if you allow yourself to enjoy the process and detach from the outcome – you will take it as feedback and learn from it.
Focusing on the process rather than the result will make you happier
Life is now. And you probably heard this sentence many times. Living in the present will make you happier.
If you are always thinking about that distant goal, the future success and future accomplishments – where is the place for happiness?
When you retire? When the business takes off? What if it won’t? Success is a journey. Success is not giving up. And mostly – enjoying the journey.
If you enjoy the process, the results don’t matter that much.
What if you change your mind in a few months and now instead of playing the guitar you want to be a chess player. Nothing wrong with it. But wouldn’t it be nice if you really enjoyed your guitar playing learning process and looked back at it fondly?
Instead of feeling like a failure, you would be so glad you took on that journey and enriched your life and skills repertoire in the process 🙂
If you focus on the process, suddenly things don’t seem to be hard or laborious. You will find yourself more relaxed, joyous, excited – just happier.
“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”—Zen Proverb
And as I am writing this post, I set myself a big goal as well. And I do at times feel overwhelmed questioning whether I can achieve it.
Except, I decided to follow my own advice and really enjoy the process. I truly believe that this is the best way to achieve your goals. I want to enjoy every minute of discovery. I want to see where this journey will take me, and what I will learn but mostly – who I can become.
Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.– Arthur Ashe