Goals. Something we should all have. We can’t start moving in the right direction unless we have something that we’re moving towards. Whether we set out to be better in the gym, improve our family life, or to simply grow as individuals, they help provide purpose and reason for going outside of our comfort zone. But what happens when we accomplish that goal? We enjoy it for a little while and then it’s on to the next one. An overwhelming majority of our time is spent working towards our goals and not basking in the glory of achieving them. In fact, it’s really easy to get burnt out when we remain solely focused on the goal, or outcome, and it’s not always apparent we are moving towards it on a daily basis. I think we need to focus our mindset appropriately to provide the maximum possibility of achieving what we set out to do.
Something that has always stuck with me is learning to find joy in “the process.” The process is a vague term and can look at lot different depending on if your goal is within fitness, academics, etc. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll use the gym as an example. What finding joy in the process means to me is taking satisfaction in the daily grind. It’s pride in knowing that I put in the work today and that I got just a little bit better and a little closer to where I want to be. Another way we could describe “the process” is having a performance-based mindset. If your goal is to lose ten pounds of fat, it can be incredibly disheartening to check the scale every morning and not see the number change, even though there is a myriad of other factors that affect the number on the scale. It is extremely easy to get overwhelmed and give up on that goal when we are solely outcome based. A performance-based mindset would be more concerned about abiding by a daily caloric deficit, eating nutrient dense food, hydrating sufficiently, and trusting that if the right steps are taken each day then the outcome will take care of itself. It’s not glamorous, but you almost have to love doing the work more than you enjoy the result. The satisfaction of the result comes from having the discipline to do something that others just won’t do.
It’s easy to see how we can apply this mindset in multiple areas of our lives. If you want to have a better home life, then the work must be put in to make that happen. The same goes with finances, or anything that is not easily achievable. At Operation RSF, we connect individuals with fitness communities to help improve physical and emotional well-being. Some of the individuals we work with struggling with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress, depression, and anxiety truly understand what it means to find joy in the process. It’s been incredibly inspirational when I hear stories from someone along the lines of “I still have a long way to go, but I got a little bit better today and I’m happy about that.” I think this perfectly articulates the point stressed in this blog.
The last point I’ll make is something a baseball coach shared with me years ago. You either get better or you get worse. Nobody just stays the same. What direction are you heading? Set your goals high but develop your passion for putting in the work each day and doing the things that others will not. The rest will take care of itself.