We all want more in life. A successful career, a big happy family, a generous income, body goals, owning a billion dollar company, writing the best books and so much more.
I woke up on a bright Sunday morning, with a determined mind to make the coming week a productive one. I took out my notepad, and drafted out a checklist of the things I would love to achieve for the week.
- Publish 3 articles.
- Gain 300 followers on Instagram
- Sell 3 copies of my just concluded social growth guide.
- Add recently completed projects to my online portfolio.
Not so many goals for a week, but I wanted to complete them as quick as possible. It’d feel awesome to know that I am in check with my outlined goals…after all.
Three days later, It’s Wednesday. I had virtually checked off every item on the list. Goals achieved! What next? I got into a box. My mind was conditioned to do only four things that week and now I had completed all by Wednesday and just couldn’t figure anything else out anymore. What stops me from taking my notepad and adding couple more goals to the list?
I got bored. Super bored! Even Youtube and Netflix bored me out! I found myself thinking thoughts like,
“What is my purpose in life?”
“I have no more ideas, does this mean writing or design is not for me?”
“I am stuck! Should I try something new?”
“My life sucks!”
What Was The Problem?
The simple problem here was, “I should have set a Process, instead of setting Goals”
In most of our pursuits, it’s very common for everyone to set goals to achieve them. We foresee, we predict, we narrow down, we face something specific, we climb rocks – using the same steps and methods, but what if we are going the wrong way?
I got to realize after this experience, however, that,
Setting a Process beats Setting a Goal
Having a process offers you a better way to do things. Let me cite some examples:
- If you are a teacher, your goal is to produce scholars. Your process is the teaching schedule you follow.
- If you are a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your process is what your team does at practice to get better each day.
- If you are a business person, your goal is to build a million or billion dollar business. Your system is your sales, culture and marketing process.
If You Had To Choose Process Over Goals?
He would give it a year! Because Goals are naturally short-term, a process can go on forever. Here’s his learning process.
1 Course = 1 day (1 hour/day)
And even if he had to miss some days in his learning process, the remaining 65 days in the year would have definitely helped cover that up!
That Wowed me! Even if you completely ignored your goals and focus only on the process it takes you to get stuff done, you would still get results, perhaps better.
Goals Limit Your Happiness
“Once I reach my goal, then will I be happy”
“Once I reach my goal, then will I have the feeling of success”
STOP! You are teaching yourself to always put happiness and success off until the next milestone is achieved. There will always be milestones, and if you have to continue that way, then you will never be happy.
Commit to a process, not a goal.
A lot of us place unnecessary pressure on ourselves to succeed, make headway, get promoted or lose weight, when we can instead keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on a Process.
Stop Trying To Predict The Future
Every time we set a goal, we try to do it. It’s shocking but true. We make attempt to plan out where we will be and when we will get there. You predict that in the next 12 months, you will be 1 Million dollars richer, weigh less, become a bad ass writer, become the next big thing in public speaking or whatever your own goal is.
We even predict how quickly we will get there, without considering the problems we will face along the way! How about trying to imagine you lost your job within those 12 months? Or imagining you got involved in something else beyond your control? See? You are not putting those in the book.
It’s great to be positive and optimistic, but it’s really important to understand that life is unpredictable, and whatever happens to you, good or bad, you don’t deserve it. Nobody does. It’s just life doing it’s thing.
I’m not saying goals are useless. Not at all. Goals provide direction. Goals motivate you. Goals drive your ambition.
In fact, goals help you plan your progress, but a process actually helps you make progress.
We should keep on moving. We should do something everyday and get better at it, in several ways possible – Through a process.
I feel we should make the journey to success or whatever we are looking for interesting each day we are on it. At least, as a person you wouldn’t have to regret something or anything at all if you had to fall out of the way, would you?
Goals can push you forward in the short-term, but the act of following a consistent process will always win. It makes the difference.
So what do you think? Should you let go of your goals and stick to a process?
Share your thoughts by dropping a comment below.