One of the most powerful statements I’ve heard in recent times is this: ‘Focus on the activities rather that the results’. This statement draws from the assumption that certain activities lead to certain results, inevitably. This made me think about the process of goal setting.
Setting goals is a major factor in the pursuit of progress. We all have them in different areas. “I want to weigh 60kg by November.” “I want to earn a million naira.” “I want to be closer to my spouse.” “I want to have a better relationship with God.”
However, many of these goals are open-ended, and you may not necessarily be able to put an end date or deadline to some of them. For instance, how do you put a deadline to being closer to your spouse? How do you measure the closeness, is it when you have intimate 2-hours conversations every day? Or when you can complete each other’s sentences?
Well, let us look at it from another perspective. Instead of setting goals with a deadline per se, we could work on developing habits. If we use our theory of ‘consistent habits overtime = achieved goals’, then we could choose specific habits that would inevitably lead to the achievement of certain goals. This way, we can take our focus off the goals in themselves, and put it on each activity, knowing that in a matter of time, we’d be just where we want to be.
So, for example, if your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, you can determine what you need to do on a consistent basis. That way, instead of focusing on the ideal weight figure or getting on the scale all the time, you can concentrate on making good diet and exercise choices daily. For the open-ended goal of getting closer to your spouse, for instance, your new habit could be to spend a minimum of one hour doing something together every day.
This frees your mind from the burden of constantly thinking, “Have I reached there yet?” Once you keep up your habit, in a matter of time you’ll be making progress, even if you don’t know it. Make the effort to do something consistently; knowing that as long as you’re consistent, you’ll end up at your desired destination.