Trust the Process



One of the recently recognized pitfalls of setting goals is that a goal can deflate you!
What the what?, you ask.
Yes, research is suggesting that setting a specific goal can have the opposite effect of what we have been taught to expect. Instead of motivating you, the goal can de-motivate.
Strange, I agree. But apparently it's one of the reasons for the high rate of goal abandonment.
So what are we to do? Setting goals is such an important factor in any kind of success in life.
The answer is, once having set a goal, set it aside, and focus on the process you will use to accomplish it!
This has long been known in the field of sports, where the savviest of coaches will focus on practice and process, convinced that such will lead to winning.
So let's break this down.
The process is your plan of action. The steps you will take. The daily To Do's (and Don't Do's) that will get you there.
For example, consider a job seeker who has a goal of landing a desired job with a target employer. Her goal is a good one. She has even used the old SMART approach to setting it.
If she stops there, her chances of reaching the goal are questionable.
What she must do next is systematize her approach!
Keeping the KISS Principle in mind, here are two questions for a simple approach to process:
  1. What will I do each day to reach my goal?
  2. What will I NOT do each day to achieve my goal?
For a job seeker, some daily To Do's include: sending a follow up note, calling up someone in your network, taking someone out for coffee, volunteering your time, using LinkedIn, researching a company of interest, attending a job search support group meeting, keeping fresh in your field, learning a new skill, exercising... etc.
Some daily Do Not's include: spending all day on the computer, waiting for the phone to ring, taking on "busy work," staying in your comfort zone, avoiding or procrastinating on any of the To Do's.
The things on the Do Not list represent pitfalls and obstacles that will sabotage the job seeker if she is not careful. She must be aware of them and steer clear.
Reaching your goals is what success is all about. It starts with you. It's up to you.
It isn't easy. But the process is the key.
Trust the process.
Terrence Seamon helps his clients focus on the process to reach their goals. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

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