Pursuing any worthwhile goal requires time, energy and effort. Sprinkle in healthy doses of consistency and accountability and you are well on your way towards the results you’re looking for. However, there is one major caveat that leads to failure, a lack of commitment to the process. That is, for some reason we just can’t seem to continue doing what needs to get done to accomplish our results. Why do we find it so difficult to stay on track?
I struggle with exercising regularly. I go back and forth from exercising consistently for a few months and then ignoring the gym like we had a bad breakup. I’m actually on the upswing on that relationship currently and one thing that I’ve found is that I’m much better served focusing on the process instead of the outcome. When I started to focus on different exercises and how I felt after each workout, I was able to think less about getting a six-pack (the belly reigns supreme). So, here are the top 3 ways I’ve learned to boost my process, instead of getting distracted by the results.
Timing is Everything
Picking the wrong time to execute any task can be the difference between following through and quitting early. The fact is that most of our day can feel like competing priorities vying for our attention. So the key is to ensure that whatever time we pick to execute our goals face as little competition as possible. Initially, when I started exercising, I would get up earlier than usual and go to the gym first thing in the morning. The only time-competitor was getting enough sleep. So, I had to go to bed earlier. Focus on limiting competition for your time as much as possible and do your pre-work to secure that time.
Manage Your Willpower
Willpower is often the most deceptive element of planning our goals. Often, when we are in the goal planning mode, we feel energized. We also tend to feel hopeful as we are looking to the future and trying to make it better. That’s where the willpower deception comes into play. We don’t account for it during the planning stage, which is unfortunate since willpower is foundational to the success of any plan. A plan that we can’t execute is just wishful thinking on paper or 1’s and 0’s in a program. It won’t get us anywhere. Focus on your daily schedule and incorporate your self-awareness, build a plan that accounts for your energy level and your ability to execute at the time your set.
Pay Attention to How You’re Feeling
No good plan is complete without some built-in feedback. And often, the best place to get feedback is from self-assessment. Our mind and body give real-time feedback to any process that we are trying to execute. While there is the occasional low energy or frustrating day, you should be paying attention to how you are feeling over time. Are you constantly disengaged from what you are doing? Do you get mentally, emotionally and physically spent completing your process?
This reaction doesn’t necessarily mean you are outside of your capabilities, here are a few things to consider -
Is this the right time to be completing this process?
Am I low energy every time I complete this process?
Is this the right process to get me to my results?
While determination and consistency are critical, suffering through a process we are disconnected from is ultimately limiting. Focus on securing the right time, maintaining your willpower and checking in with how you are feeling. This is a fantastic model to ensure that you are connected with your process and not just blinding trudging towards the results. By the time the results show up, the work has already been done. Make sure that it’s work that you enjoy that will help you remain engaged in pursuing your results.