It’s tempting to look at the new year in terms of starts and stops, the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. Instead, I want to encourage you to think of it as a checkpoint, or a time to take inventory of the processes, systems and rituals you’ve taken on in your life. This is a more effective way of approaching another common new year temptation – goal setting without a change in process.
You’ve likely heard the chatter everywhere you go. Friends are setting goals to lose weight, or family members are setting goals to make more money. What I’ve found to be much more effective is committing to processes because they are entirely within your control. They are ongoing actions and mindsets that lead you in the direction of the desired results. Here are a few examples.
Goal: ‘I want to lose 10 pounds.’
I use this example first, since it’s about as common as they come! This goal focuses on a result – losing 10 pounds – and it puts the definition of success squarely on the result. But it doesn’t take into consideration all of the outside factors that might stand between the goal-setter and the goal. Instead, this person should outline a few processes and commit to those instead. This might sound like, “I’m going to commit to eliminating sugar from my diet and not snacking between meals for the month of January.” This lays out a process that they have control over and it creates a new definition of success. Even if they don’t lose 10 pounds, if they remain committed to the processes, there’s still a major reason to celebrate.
“What I’ve found to be much more effective is committing to processes because they are entirely within your control. They are ongoing actions and mindsets that lead you in the direction of the desired results.”
Goal: ‘I want my family to be less stressed during the school week.’
This is another one I hear all the time from my friends, family and Beauty Guides. The issue here is that success relies on the feelings of others, and we all know how hard that can be to control. Rather than aiming to shift their family’s mood, this person might commit to a process that will lead them all in the right direction. They can commit to getting schoolbooks and laptops laid out the night before, for example, or have a daily dance party for everyone to reconnect and recalibrate. Staying committed to the processes, especially while outside stressors come and go, is the new definition of success.
There’s another reason I recommend committing to processes over goal setting, and it’s what I call ‘The Quiet Quit.’ It’s the way so many goals end, once we’ve lost motivation and have chosen not to renew them. Often this only happens within our own minds, which is possibly the most harmful place for it. When a lot of Quiet Quits gather in our subconscious, we fall out of integrity with ourselves. We become afraid of failure and hesitate to make any more declarations.
But if we focus on processes and the things we can control, we can turn a Quiet Quit into a victory. In 2021, let’s focus on a series of commitments. Put a reminder in your calendar to call your grandmother every Wednesday, rather than setting the lofty goal of ‘being a better granddaughter.’ Commit to adding a cup of vegetables to each meal, rather than saying ‘I want to eat healthy.’ The processes might surprise you, turning the struggle of reaching a result into an enjoyable journey.
What’s a goal that you set for 2021, and how can you turn it into a commitment to processes? Let’s chat in the comments.