I’m a goal oriented person. I believe in making small, realistic goals I can easily achieve. However, I also have bigger, long term goals that are increasingly elusive.  Recently, I shared this frustration with a friend who made an interesting observation. She suggested that I focus on the process rather than the result.  The idea intrigued me.

My two big, long term goals are losing weight and selling books. I’ve had these goals for many years with varying levels of success. I’m a lapsed Weight Watchers Lifetime Member. That means I did achieve this big goal, but have since regained the weight.  I have yet to receive a publishing contract. But, I do have a body of work that has done well in contests, been requested by editors and agents, and come super close to selling.

So let’s break this down. If I make better food choices, watch portion sizes, and increase my water intake, I will feel better even if I don’t reach a magic number on the scale. And, if I continue putting words on the page, learning my craft, and submitting, I will be closer to success than if I did nothing! More so, I will be better prepared to hit the ground running when the time comes.

Instead of zeroing in on the fact that I have yet to achieve these two goals, and feeling like a huge failure, it’s beneficial to realize that I am doing the things necessary to get the results I want. If I stay focused on the process and the fact that I’m doing the work, I’ll be less likely to feel discouraged. And in the end, the results will be exactly what I hoped and dreamed.  I’m going to give it a shot.

12 Responses to “Focus on the Process”

  1. B Irwin says:

    Having fun with the journey makes it easier. I’m all for the small steps.

  2. jan says:

    So true, Beth. And those small steps add up!

  3. Barbara Cameron says:

    I think you’re right about it’s the process not the goal. It will be even more so after you sell your writing. As for the weight, I’ve lost a lot since I had big health challenges this year but I am aware that many people regain the weight because once they’ve met their weight loss goal, they forget they need to keep up with the process on a daily basis. So I am trying to be good about eating healthy, etc.

  4. jan says:

    I hope the health challenges are behind you, Barbara. Good look with the healthy eating. =)

  5. Selena Fulton says:

    Jan,

    You are so right. Sometimes we get so focused on the end goal, we ignore all the joys about the journey. Kudo’s to you! You can do it!!!

  6. jan says:

    Thanks, Selena! Doing my best.

  7. Connie Mann says:

    Good for you, Jan! I know you can meet both of those big goals–and can take the daily steps to get there. Keep going!

  8. jan says:

    Thanks, Connie. The support of friends like you makes a big difference.

  9. Heather Ashby says:

    Great blog, Jan. Just so you know, the older we get, the easier it is to enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the destination. I LOVE the comment: “Lapsed Weight Watchers Lifetime Member!” I’m sure there’s more to the story than what I can see, but I think you’re doing fine. (And that’s from a “I Just Burned My Weight Watcher’s Card-Girl” here.) I say to use your common sense, the good tools they gave you, and find a fun physical activity that you LOVE and do it with joy, instead of “Oh, %&$#, I gotta exercise again.”

    I found the following comment interesting: “I’ve had these two goals for many years with varying levels of success.” I suggest reading – or watching – THE SECRET. Although i always kind of lived that way – expecting good things to happen, each time I watch it, it is like a shot in the arm. I used to say, “I wish…” or “I want…” or whatever. (Which, according to The Secret, leaves us always wishing or wanting for something.)
    I’ve learned to phrase everything in the positive over the past 5 years and have been stunned at the positive changes in my life.

    Sorry, AGAIN, Heather replies to one of your awesome blogs with wacky, out-of the-box ideas, but just passing along tools that have been successful for me. Wishing you the best with both endeavors (OOOPs, there I am “wishing” again 🙂 Let me re-phrase that: I’m so excited for you, Jan, that you’re enjoying a fun exercise program, are maintaining your desirable weight, and have signed that FABULOUS book deal! Write ON!!!!

  10. jan says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Heather. I always enjoy hearing your ideas and appreciate you sharing what works for you. That’s why I wrote the blog, too. My friend’s comment made me think and so I wanted to pass that on. Sometimes, it takes looking at things from a different perspective to keep pushing ahead.

  11. diane burke says:

    Great blog, Jan! So true, too. Life is what happens to many people while they are waiting for something else. My “goal” is to enjoy every day of my life. There is something, no matter how little, but something in each and every day worth appreciating and enjoying.

    Life is a process…and how lucky I am to share that process with wonderful friends!!

  12. jan says:

    Great points, Diane. And I am blessed with my friends, including you!

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