I read an article a while ago that said less than 15% of people have a goal in mind, and only 3% take the time to write it down. And guess what! You’re one of the 15% because you know how important it is to set goals if you want to succeed. Even better, you’re one of the 3% because you know that you are more likely to achieve them if you do.
So why aren’t you achieving your goals? Why are you struggling to make progress despite the hard work you do? Why do you always get distracted and discouraged then give up?
Goals give you focus but could the problem be that you’re focusing too much on the result at the expense of everything else?
The mistake you’re making
I’m a firm believer in the idea that you shouldn’t just wait around for things to happen. That you take responsibility for your life and influence outcomes as much as you can. And setting goals is how you do that. Using the power of your imagination you start to design the life you want. You don’t leave it to chance but instead, create a vision of what you want your future to look like.
But here’s the thing.
A goal is just the beginning.
It’s powerful because it gives you focus and helps you set the direction in which you want to go. But accomplishing it comes down to you figuring out the answer to this question:
How will you get there?
So maybe you’re fed up with your love handles and decide you want to lose 20 pounds. You have a goal and that’s great but how will you make it happen?
It comes down to the process and here’s how that may look like.
Your goal: lose 20 pounds.
The process? Your training schedule and diet plan.
Your goal: write a book.
The process? Your daily writing schedule.
Your goal: take that round-the-world trip.
The process? Create a budget to save the money you need.
The importance of the process
Often you spend too much time focusing on the end game and not enough time on the strategy you need to get there. To move your goal from the realm of fantasy to reality, you have to develop the habits required to become the person your end goal requires.
I’m reminded of this quote:
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso
Are there skills you need to acquire? Do you need to gain mastery in an area to make progress? What are the daily actions you need to take to become the person you want to be and can you show up consistently to get it done?
When you put your energy into establishing the process you begin to take control over the things you can influence. It comes down to doing the right things and trusting that the desired outcomes will follow.
The bottom line on goals
A great goal can inspire you. It acts like a magnet pulling you towards it. If it’s compelling enough it can get you through bad days and disappointment. It will keep you going when times get tough. But setting off in a direction without a plan is surely a recipe for disaster and failure. What will make the difference in whether you succeed or fail is your ability to develop into the person you need to be in order to achieve the goal. That only comes when you have a process, a plan.
Having a goal is great but it’s the process that brings results.
Now over to you.
Do you have a goal but haven’t taken the time to figure out how you’ll achieve it?
Could focusing on the process bring you closer to what you want?
Let me know in the comments.