Forget about goals and focus on The Process first







January 9, 2023

Focus on The Process instead of the outcome. Tackle small tasks that need doing. Worry about long-term goals later.

If you have a goal for your year, career, or life that you're happy with: 👍.
If you don't, focus on The Process first.

"Don’t think about winning the SEC Championship. Don’t think about the national championship. Think about what you needed to do in this drill, on this play, in this moment. That’s the process: Let’s think about what we can do today, the task at hand." - Nick Saban, American football coach

"Follow the process and not the prize," Ryan Holiday writes in The Obstacle is the Way.

Instead of thinking—or worrying—about grand goals, focus on what you can do today. This moment. Now.

Ask, "What's the most valuable—or necessary—activity I could do right now?"
Do that. Then repeat the question and take the next step.

Legendary psychologist Carl Jung already gave this advice in 1933, as Oliver Burkeman writes in Four Thousand Weeks:

"The individual path 'is the way you make for yourself, which is never prescribed, which you do not know in advance, and which simply comes into being itself when you put one foot in front of the other.' His sole advice for walking such a path was to 'quietly do the next and most necessary thing… if you do with conviction the next and most necessary thing, you are always doing something meaningful and intended by fate.'"

Long-term goals are helpful, but you can still move forward without them.

Often there are obvious, important, or urgent actions ready for the doing. But we procrastinate with something else—over-planning, switching todo list apps (again), or waiting for the perfect moment to start.

“I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp.” - W. Somerset Maugham, author

What's a thing that will improve your life if you do it?
That you've moved to "tomorrow" too many times?
That you must complete regardless of the priority, importance, or goal you give it?

Do it now.
Then tackle the next such task.
And the next one.

"The process is about doing the right things, right now. Not worrying about what might happen later, or the results, or the whole picture." - Ryan Holiday in The Obstacle is the Way

Don't obsess over envisioning the outcome.
Do what you can do right now.

Focus on The Process.
Day by day. Hour by hour. Minute by minute.


Note: ‍Links to the books mentioned in this article are Amazon affiliate links. When you click one and make a purchase, Saent receives a commission at no additional cost to you.

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