Here’s a shocker: Everything you know about goals may be wrong.
Or maybe it doesn’t shock you, if you’ve ever found yourself on an endless, joyless hamster wheel (or treadmill) of goal-setting. Same goes if you’ve ever completely abandoned a goal because you feel like you slipped up and need to start over.
Researchers, coaches and psychologists increasingly are discussing the downfalls of traditional goals and putting forth the idea of process instead, a new article in BBC Capital says. At its most basic, this school of thought says that cultivating a love of the process is what keeps you working at something; and if you can get to that headspace, you’ll naturally achieve great things along the way. Reading this was a total lightbulb moment for me, and it might be for you as well.
New New Year’s Resolutions
In fact, it may influence your approach to the usual New Year’s fitness resolutions this year. What if, instead of focusing on losing 10 pounds, you focused on eating new, healthy foods or learning to cook? What if, instead of saying you’re going to get to the gym five days a week, you focused on how amazing you feel when you finish a workout, or the energy you gain from being surrounded by others who share your healthy lifestyle?
It’s pretty radical, I know. And some people may thrive on the discipline and reward cycle of traditional goals. More power to you, if it works. If not, consider how you might turn your approach to fitness and health upside down and simply derive pleasure from an overall healthy lifestyle.
And if this sparks a new sort of focus for you, too, tell us. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a few words about how you’re going to flip from goals to process in any area of your life. We’re eager to hear about and share the inspiration!