This weekend I heard some really great speakers at a local Advocare program. But don’t worry, you aren’t about to read a 500 page sales letter for Advocare!
The major concept that I took away from this event was to enjoy the process. Too often I set my sights on a goal and obsess over it until I either achieve it or give up. Lately, there have been way too many goals that I have abandoned. There are a few reasons for this. One of which is not having a clearly defined purpose, but I believe the main reason that I have suffered from goal abandonment, is that I have focused so much on the end product that I have forgotten to enjoy the daily tasks and objectives necessary to get there. In doing so I have turned helping people, exercising, writing blog posts, etc. into a chore!
While it is true that these activities are not fun 100% of the time, the reality is that I may never reach my ultimate goals. Ever. I could die tomorrow (hopefully not!) and I don’t want to spend my short time on earth doing things that don’t fill me up!
In knowing this, I believe it is important to set goals that align with a process and purpose that you can work with every single day.
For example; you may want to lose 50 pounds. Let me go ahead and tell you, that’s not going to happen fast. It could take 12 to 15 weeks if you’re lucky, or more realistically it could take 1 to 1.5 years! That’s a long time! If you are going to commit to something for almost two full years, you better approach it with the mindset of enjoying what you are doing! Don’t focus so much on the end goal. If you put in the day to day work, the end goal will come. Losing weight, building a business, training for a competition, often takes years and years of hard work and dedication before outward results can be seen. However, during this time that you may be thinking that you aren’t seeing results, but you are laying the groundwork and foundation for a healthy life, a thriving business, or to win that competition. Sure you may be able to cheat the system and get “results” fast, but they won’t be built on a foundation and everything will soon come tumbling down!
Take this picture for example. The guy on the bottom is seeking and end goal, an large amount of diamonds! However, he has stopped just short of his destination. Do you ever feel like that could have been you? I sure do. Let’s pretend for a second though, that this guy really wants those diamonds and believes he can get them, but he also enjoys the day to day process of searching for them. Do you think he would stop right now? I like to think not. I like to think, in this crazy hypothetical situation, that this man would continue because of his love for hard work, his love for the process, and his love for what he does. Of course, everything I just said could be nonsense. He could just be going on a lunch break and coming right back!
The point here is that too often we focus on the end goal or dream. We want the weight to come off NOW! We want to make more money NOW! We want to look better naked NOW! While there are rare cases of this happening to people, it’s just not realistic for one to expect. I urge you to reevaluate you goals. What do you need to do to achieve them (I wrote a journal that helps with this)? Are you willing to embrace the process that will be needed? It’s ok to say no! Better to say no now than try hard for a few weeks, waste your time and effort, only to find out that you really don’t enjoy doing what’s necessary to reach the goal you set. That doesn’t mean you are a failure, it just means that you need to set a goal that is more in line with your purpose, passion, and values!
So while I still believe it is important to set goals and to write them down every day, I believe many of us need to focus less on these dreams, and more on the things we can do (get to do!) each day to help us get there! You don’t get to win the Super Bowl by just skipping training camp, the preseason, and the grueling 17 week regular season. It’s all of the hard work that you are going to put in that will make that moment when you do achieve your goal the sweetest moment of your life!