July is all about Goals.
In this week's focus, learn the importance of process in reaching your desired outcome.
Everyone wants to achieve their goals. The challenge comes with the process itself. It’s a concept so seemingly simple that it easily camouflages its power. And yet, it’s the process—implementing a successful one—that ultimately creates power.
In our first topic this month, we focused on the unimportance of goals. That, rather than focusing on the outcome, we should spend our energies and efforts on the more tangible and controllable pieces along the way.
This week, we’re talking about why those more manageable pieces are so vital and what it means to fully invest in the process.
Master the Process, Master Your Goal
More often than not, we set our sights on our goals—our mission, our 5-year plan, our checklist—and look no further. Therein lies the problem: it is the process that creates the result. The process is so much more important than the goal; our sights should be refocused on the here, the now, and the immediate in order to get to that end result.
But what exactly is the process? It’s the everyday, the mundane, the routine. It’s the daily grind of becoming and living out your actual goal.
Being able to break down the goal into actionable, bite-sizable blocks you can handle each day provides the foundational power needed. It’s all the mundane micro-goals that you achieve daily—or at least, regularly—that add up to the final goal. Master the details, and you master your goal.
These smaller, daily practices are much more bearable. Trying to digest a year’s worth of achievement is probably too much to handle. When considering just one day in the life of someone living with a chronic condition, the amount of variables there are to juggle is not only complex, but astounding.
When thinking about it from this angle, the goal seems insurmountable. It induces stress, anxiety, paralysis, and hopelessness.
By focusing on the daily process, though, you can realize the much more doable parts. It's a bit of zooming out by zooming in: rather than fixating on the bigger, broader picture (that mammoth of a goal), you center your efforts on the smaller, more limited components of your goals.
When you focus on these more doable pieces, you strip down your goal to what’s immediately in front of you and what you can control.
It’s here—at the realization of what is actually in your control—that the magic happens. Understanding the difference between what you’d like to control and what you actually can control will help to identify the daily choices needed to get you to your desired outcome.
Learning to Trust the Process
What does it look like to trust the process? Rather than putting all your energy into your next A1c, for example, transition your efforts into today’s blood sugars; instead of concentrating on the number you’d like to see on the scale, hone in on your daily water intake and how you can prevent late-night snacking.
Breaking down goals into discrete, momentary blocks will help you successfully achieve all the micro-goals needed to add up to the ultimate one.
If you can focus on that one daily job you have set before you, you wipe out the broader distractions; it’s then that you will be satisfied with your outcome.