Have you ever set yourself a massively audacious goal, mentally committed yourself to achieving it, and realized that all it did was caused you massive amounts of stress and overwhelm?
Well, today I’ve got a new approach to goal setting, that doesn’t involve putting yourself in a state of mind where you’re living for the future and unable to enjoy the present moment.
The concept is about setting process-orientated goals, rather than results-orientated goals…
Here’s what I mean…
A common way to approach goal setting is to say;
“I want to achieve [result] by [date]”
I want to make $10,000 by March 31st…
I want to have 1000 YouTube subscribers by June 1st…
I want to be 8% body fat by January 1 etc…
Now, I’m not saying it sucks to do things that way.
I mean, it’s a hell of a lot better than what most people do and float through life like shit down a creek, with no purpose or direction, living in complete reaction to their environment.
But the problem with this approach is that you’re essentially telling yourself that you’re missing something until you achieve that goal, that you will be complete once you achieve it.
And this puts you in a state of perpetual stress until you’ve reached the goal, as your mind subconsciously associates the future with happiness and NOT the present moment.
As you believe that you can’t feel happy until you’re complete (which comes when you achieve the goal).
I’ve been there before, wanting to make X amount of money by some date…
The whole time I’m living in a world that has a subtle undercurrent of anxiety and dissatisfaction for the present moment.
When I make this amount of money, then I’ll be happy. My mind would tell me.
NOT a nice place to spend your days…
And what’s more, you actually become less effective and less likely to achieve said goal because of the increased amounts of stress and fatigue that it places on your body.
“Sure, setting goals with deadlines can be stressful, but it not like it doesn’t work. Sometimes you need that direction and focus, right?”
Yes, you need the direction, the intent, the accountability to not be a lazy ass…
Nuthin wrong with that…
But what you DON’T need is the undercurrent of stress and anxiety, and the tendency to look to the future for your happiness.
Instead, setting process-orientated goals is a much more effective way to make sure you have that direction and focus, yet doesn’t cause that underlying sense of overwhelm that strips the present moment of any sense of contentment.
So what’s the difference?
Essentially, a process-orientated goal is still aimed at achieving the desired result, but it shifts your criteria for success from a far off time in the future the future, into daily actions.
Here’s how to do it:
- Define the end result you want to move towards
- Decide what you need to do on a DAILY basis that moves you closer towards that goal (it could be something as simple as dedicating 4 hours a day, in the morning to doing focused work that moves you towards your goal).
- As long as you’re following the process you defined in step 2, you are being successful every day. You can allow yourself to relax as long as you stick to the process.
Here’s an example:
1. Desired Result:
Build an online business that earns $10K a month.
2. Process Orientated Goal:
Be doing focused work that is moving me closer to that result from 8am to 12pm, Monday to Saturday.
As long as I’m putting in focused work during those times, I’m being successful and can allow myself to relax and feel at ease at long I’m following the process.
This is a powerful shift to make because most of the time the results you are looking for are subject to a lot of external forces outside of your control.
And by beating yourself up when you did all you could, yet the result didn’t come by some stroke of shitty luck, is completely fruitless and detrimental.
But knowing where you want to be, and deciding to focus on the process of getting yourself there, you not only save yourself stress and overwhelm…
But you also become much more effective in the doing of the work, as you’re completely focused the step you’re taking, rather than looking at it as some means to an end and wishing it were just over with already…
It’ll work wonders for how good you feel throughout the day.
All the best,
Ryan “Process-Orientated” Kuchel