EMBRACE PROCESSES, NOT RESULTS

Goals are Exciting and Processes Are Not
Have you ever thought about achieving a goal and embarked on the process of working towards it, but after a little while the work overwhelmed you and you quit the project altogether? Perhaps you once aimed to make some health changes, and at first you felt really excited. You made plans to run every morning and then drink a protein shake afterwards. And maybe you even booked sessions with a trainer. But after a few weeks, the process felt hard and the excitement dwindled. After awhile, you began to feel discouraged because you weren’t seeing any results yet. 

 

If so, welcome to the club. The club of seeking results and avoiding processes. This cycle is 100% normal and there’s not a human being alive who hasn’t experienced this phenomena.  The problem with it is that it can be highly discouraging, and it often becomes a cycle that people are unable to liberate themselves from. 

 

At the root of this cycle is the desire for results. Quick results. But the truth is that most human beings don’t live or exist in results. They live in processes. People can work on projects for weeks, months–and even years–before ever witnessing the results of their labors. When someone undertakes a resistance training regimen, it could be at least six weeks before their body might start to look a little different. Which would have required six weeks of consistent training–perhaps even at uncomfortable hours, such as early in the morning–in addition to nutritional changes, ample sleep, and taking time out of their day to prioritize meals and training sessions. That’s six weeks of work for the very first glimmer of a result. 

 

Unfortunately, many people succumb to the challenge of the process before ever getting their first taste of victory. Becauses processes are long. The answer to overcoming this is to stick a circuit breaker into the self-destructive cycle. It’s to embrace and enjoy the process.
“Our culture has become hooked on the quick-fix, the life hack, efficiency. Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort. There’s no denying this attitude may get you some of the trappings of success, if you’re lucky, but it will not lead to a calloused mind or self-mastery. If you want to master the mind and remove your governor, you’ll have to become addicted to hard work. Because passion and obsession, even talent, are only useful tools if you have the work ethic to back them up.” ― David Goggins, Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
A Process Requires Action
What exactly sets apart a process from other goal-setting activities? It requires action. Many people get so stuck in the early stages of action, that they never progress. They get trapped in several ways: 
  1. Planning
    1. A person may go to a gym’s website or email with a trainer multiple times, but never actually go. 
    2. A person might write down a meal plan or plan some dinners for the week, but never complete even a full day of the plan. 
    3. A person might map-out their running route five different times but never actually do it.
  2. Choice Points
    1. A person may have gone to a few sessions with their new trainer, but then stayed up late to watch a baseball game, making the morning rise much harder. Instead of planning an early bedtime, they watch the game and cancel the morning workout session. Then, their brain starts to list reasons why they shouldn’t bother scheduling more. 
    2. A person may have started their meal plan, but the very first time they’re confronted with having to order something healthy when out with friends, they’re afraid to be different or don’t want to miss out on the decadent foods around them. They cave and then feel so guilty the next morning, they give up on the healthy eating altogether. 
  3. Discouragement
    1. Some people will manage to start and stick to a healthy eating plan some of the time, but quickly get discouraged when after a week, their weight has not yet changed and they feel that progress is not happening quickly enough. 
    2. Some people will continue their exercise regimen for a few weeks, and their trainer will start to push them more and more or increase their weights. This makes their workload feel very challenging, and they feel uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. 
Getting stuck in the planning phase makes people feel like they’re in motion–because they’re doing something by planning or thinking about the goal. But they’re actually not committing any action. It’s like rocking in a rocking chair–a person is moving but not going anywhere. Choice points are the moments when the work confronts a person face-to-face, and they turn away at the crossroads instead of taking the plunge. And discouragement is a common place to drop-off at–a person is starting to work a little harder but senses no progress and feels their efforts are fruitless. Their brain hates that there’s no quick-fix, and talks them out of continuing the effort. 
Action-Oriented Processes Produce Results
To avoid these common pitfalls, a person has to be action-oriented, realize that there is going to be a long process, find processes that they can (somewhat) enjoy (even if the pleasure is knowing that one is working really hard in and of itself), and to not give up at the first feelings of discouragement. 
Below are a list of productivity tips that help a person get started and keep going:
  1. Have an Accountability Schedule: Schedule sessions with your trainer, nutritionist, or whoever you can be accountable to in advance. And keep the appointments. Do not allow yourself to change your accountability schedule no matter what–unless there’s an emergency.
  2. Create an Accountability List: create a list each morning, or each night for the following day, of 1-3 things that must be accomplished. Three major tasks that you can check-off each day becomes a very satisfying way to keep track of behaviors. 
  3. Plan with Accountability Preparation: if you need to meal prep to meet your nutrition goals, then you must do so at the beginning of the week and keep the meals at the ready. For many people, the week becomes too busy to cook at each mealtime. If the food is ready to go, its easier to consume it. If someone gets stressed out even when picking out a snack, they should prep these as well. This reduces decision fatigue so that the behavior change is less emotionally taxing. This also applies to preparing for work, getting workout clothes ready for the morning before going to bed, or planning a hike with friends days in advance. Make a plan, and then prepare to succeed. 
  4. Create a Value List: discouragement at the first sign of no progress is hard to resist. Plan to feel this discouragement, and prepare a list of values that you can celebrate along the way that are not the goal. For example, if a certain weight on the scale is the goal, a person should create a Health Values List and get excited when those items when they occur. These may include things such as preparing and then consuming dinners with meal prep strategies, taking 10,000 steps per day, feeling more energetic, finding new vegetables to enjoy, making a snack decision that use to be hard to do…etc. That way, these moments–which are not the results goal–can be an encouraging demonstration of behavior change
We know that it’s tempting to seek quick-fixes and easy ways out to get the results we dream of. Its natural for the human brain. But it’s also very natural to spend long periods of time in processes. Staying productive and action-oriented once a plan is set in motion is even harder than crafting the plan itself. Yet, your mind will change as your force yourself to be honest and hold yourself accountable. David Goggins calls this “callusing your mind” and this metaphor couldn’t be more true. The more frequently we do things that make us uncomfortable, the more comfortable we get with being uncomfortable. And once a brain doesn’t flee at the first sign of adversity, the limits for that person increase exponentially.

EMBRACE PROCESSES, NOT RESULTS

Goals are Exciting and Processes Are Not
Have you ever thought about achieving a goal and embarked on the process of working towards it, but after a little while the work overwhelmed you and you quit the project altogether? Perhaps you once aimed to make some health changes, and at first you felt really excited. You made plans to run every morning and then drink a protein shake afterwards. And maybe you even booked sessions with a trainer. But after a few weeks, the process felt hard and the excitement dwindled. After awhile, you began to feel discouraged because you weren’t seeing any results yet. 

 

If so, welcome to the club. The club of seeking results and avoiding processes. This cycle is 100% normal and there’s not a human being alive who hasn’t experienced this phenomena.  The problem with it is that it can be highly discouraging, and it often becomes a cycle that people are unable to liberate themselves from. 

 

At the root of this cycle is the desire for results. Quick results. But the truth is that most human beings don’t live or exist in results. They live in processes. People can work on projects for weeks, months–and even years–before ever witnessing the results of their labors. When someone undertakes a resistance training regimen, it could be at least six weeks before their body might start to look a little different. Which would have required six weeks of consistent training–perhaps even at uncomfortable hours, such as early in the morning–in addition to nutritional changes, ample sleep, and taking time out of their day to prioritize meals and training sessions. That’s six weeks of work for the very first glimmer of a result. 

 

Unfortunately, many people succumb to the challenge of the process before ever getting their first taste of victory. Becauses processes are long. The answer to overcoming this is to stick a circuit breaker into the self-destructive cycle. It’s to embrace and enjoy the process.
“Our culture has become hooked on the quick-fix, the life hack, efficiency. Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort. There’s no denying this attitude may get you some of the trappings of success, if you’re lucky, but it will not lead to a calloused mind or self-mastery. If you want to master the mind and remove your governor, you’ll have to become addicted to hard work. Because passion and obsession, even talent, are only useful tools if you have the work ethic to back them up.” ― David Goggins, Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
A Process Requires Action
What exactly sets apart a process from other goal-setting activities? It requires action. Many people get so stuck in the early stages of action, that they never progress. They get trapped in several ways: 
  1. Planning
    1. A person may go to a gym’s website or email with a trainer multiple times, but never actually go. 
    2. A person might write down a meal plan or plan some dinners for the week, but never complete even a full day of the plan. 
    3. A person might map-out their running route five different times but never actually do it.
  2. Choice Points
    1. A person may have gone to a few sessions with their new trainer, but then stayed up late to watch a baseball game, making the morning rise much harder. Instead of planning an early bedtime, they watch the game and cancel the morning workout session. Then, their brain starts to list reasons why they shouldn’t bother scheduling more. 
    2. A person may have started their meal plan, but the very first time they’re confronted with having to order something healthy when out with friends, they’re afraid to be different or don’t want to miss out on the decadent foods around them. They cave and then feel so guilty the next morning, they give up on the healthy eating altogether. 
  3. Discouragement
    1. Some people will manage to start and stick to a healthy eating plan some of the time, but quickly get discouraged when after a week, their weight has not yet changed and they feel that progress is not happening quickly enough. 
    2. Some people will continue their exercise regimen for a few weeks, and their trainer will start to push them more and more or increase their weights. This makes their workload feel very challenging, and they feel uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. 
Getting stuck in the planning phase makes people feel like they’re in motion–because they’re doing something by planning or thinking about the goal. But they’re actually not committing any action. It’s like rocking in a rocking chair–a person is moving but not going anywhere. Choice points are the moments when the work confronts a person face-to-face, and they turn away at the crossroads instead of taking the plunge. And discouragement is a common place to drop-off at–a person is starting to work a little harder but senses no progress and feels their efforts are fruitless. Their brain hates that there’s no quick-fix, and talks them out of continuing the effort. 
Action-Oriented Processes Produce Results
To avoid these common pitfalls, a person has to be action-oriented, realize that there is going to be a long process, find processes that they can (somewhat) enjoy (even if the pleasure is knowing that one is working really hard in and of itself), and to not give up at the first feelings of discouragement. 
Below are a list of productivity tips that help a person get started and keep going:
  1. Have an Accountability Schedule: Schedule sessions with your trainer, nutritionist, or whoever you can be accountable to in advance. And keep the appointments. Do not allow yourself to change your accountability schedule no matter what–unless there’s an emergency.
  2. Create an Accountability List: create a list each morning, or each night for the following day, of 1-3 things that must be accomplished. Three major tasks that you can check-off each day becomes a very satisfying way to keep track of behaviors. 
  3. Plan with Accountability Preparation: if you need to meal prep to meet your nutrition goals, then you must do so at the beginning of the week and keep the meals at the ready. For many people, the week becomes too busy to cook at each mealtime. If the food is ready to go, its easier to consume it. If someone gets stressed out even when picking out a snack, they should prep these as well. This reduces decision fatigue so that the behavior change is less emotionally taxing. This also applies to preparing for work, getting workout clothes ready for the morning before going to bed, or planning a hike with friends days in advance. Make a plan, and then prepare to succeed. 
  4. Create a Value List: discouragement at the first sign of no progress is hard to resist. Plan to feel this discouragement, and prepare a list of values that you can celebrate along the way that are not the goal. For example, if a certain weight on the scale is the goal, a person should create a Health Values List and get excited when those items when they occur. These may include things such as preparing and then consuming dinners with meal prep strategies, taking 10,000 steps per day, feeling more energetic, finding new vegetables to enjoy, making a snack decision that use to be hard to do…etc. That way, these moments–which are not the results goal–can be an encouraging demonstration of behavior change
We know that it’s tempting to seek quick-fixes and easy ways out to get the results we dream of. Its natural for the human brain. But it’s also very natural to spend long periods of time in processes. Staying productive and action-oriented once a plan is set in motion is even harder than crafting the plan itself. Yet, your mind will change as your force yourself to be honest and hold yourself accountable. David Goggins calls this “callusing your mind” and this metaphor couldn’t be more true. The more frequently we do things that make us uncomfortable, the more comfortable we get with being uncomfortable. And once a brain doesn’t flee at the first sign of adversity, the limits for that person increase exponentially.