Part 5 of 6
OWNING YOUR LIFE
DON’T JUST STAND THERE, DO SOMETHING
Focus on Process vs Outcome
“Goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.” James Clear
There is so much baked into that statement. We can set goals any time we like – but without changing ourselves from the inside out, we can’t make long-lasting progress. Think about how on tough days your inner critic tries to throw you off: “Just skip this workout – you deserve it!” or, “You’re just not built for this.“ But just as negative thoughts can attract negative energy, the same is true with positive self-talk. This is why the power of your words is such an important part of meaningful transformation.
Words are like a spotlight on a stage that pulls your attention. Did you know that YOU can control where you put that spotlight? And where you choose to put the spotlight expands into a more powerful way of seeing yourself.
AWARENESS of what you’re thinking, where you’re putting your attention and what you’re saying to yourself is an important piece of taking control and owning your life.
WHERE TO FOCUS
Just to clarify: your GOALS are the OUTCOMES (lose 10 pounds/have toned arms/make more money) but the PROCESS (workout and watch what I eat/lift weights 3 times a week/spend less than I make) is what gets you to that outcome. It’s important to have your target but that’s not where your focus should be.
Focusing only on your desired outcome won’t make it happen. In the end, you don’t really have control over hitting your goals. But focusing on your PROCESS will lead not only to your goals but to long-term positive changes. PROCESS is something you can control. And we like control don’t we? Control is empowering. It puts YOU in the driver’s seat. If you make choices that move you closer to your goal – and override those that move you further away – you will achieve your outcome. This makes you 100% responsible. If you follow the process, you’ll get there. If you don’t, you don’t.
THE STRATEGIES → AWARENESS. CHOICE. ACTION.
Here are a few strategies for focusing on process vs. outcome.
- AWARENESS. Where is your attention? What are you focused on? What are you spotlighting? Being aware of your thoughts is a key ingredient to start with because what you focus on expands. Are you thinking about what you can eat or what you shouldn’t eat? Are you focused on going for that walk or are you busy talking yourself out of it? Control your awareness. Focus on the process and allow the outcomes to show up.
- CHOICE. Now comes the simple – though not always easy – next step: choosing to focus on the process that will get you there. If you want to lose weight, choose a salad over a burger or walk the dog instead of sitting on the couch after dinner. The formula is simple: you don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to win every battle, you just need to choose what moves you in the right direction more times than what doesn’t. If you stick with that, the results will eventually arise.
- ACTION. Just to be clear here, being aware and choosing to do something doesn’t move the ball if you don’t take action. You still need to order that salad, you still need to take that walk. This is where you really want to move out of your mind and into your body. You’ve DECIDED what to do, you’ve made a choice, now DO IT.
THE CHALLENGE → KNOWING WHERE YOUR FOCUS IS
This week, challenge yourself to see where your focus is going. Are you thinking about your OUTCOMES or your PROCESS?
I need to lose weight vs. I am watching what I eat and eating less at every meal.
I want to buy that car vs. I am putting 10% of every check into my savings account.
I am always tired vs. I am going to bed an hour earlier every night this week.
Do you see how you can shift from a generalized thought to an actionable choice that you can control? It’s empowering if you DO IT and it’s frustrating if you DON’T. The good news is, the more awareness you can bring to your choices, the easier it gets to take action. And that’s when the magic happens. That’s when amazing results just show up.
Like all the other OWN YOUR LIFE habits, decide to commit to it and see what happens. If you start to get some traction, stick with it. You may start to see the results you’ve always thought were out-of-reach become a lot more… reachable.
Phil Dozois, Certified Personal Coach + Entrepreneur
Questions, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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