If You Focus on Your Process – the Result will Take Care of Itself

Bold claim I know but hear me out.

If I asked you if you knew what it took to lose weight, you’d probably respond with an answer along the lines of – “eat less, move more.”

If I asked you about how to get out of debt, you’d probably tell me that “you need to spend less, pay down your debt and start to save.”

If I asked you how someone could kick start a stalled career, you may have to give that answer some thought. If you have had that particular experience then you’d share what you did – what worked for you.

Likewise if I asked you how to build a profitable business, unless you’ve actually built a profitable business yourself – you would not be able to answer me accurately. You might make an educated guess, share stuff you may have read, but you would not know for sure.

Knowledge regarding how to get the results you want is no secret. Why then aren’t you getting those results?

In the book ‘Change Anything’ the authors share this:-

Every time you try your best to do what you know is right and you fail, there’s a good chance that your failure can be traced in part to a gap in knowledge or a missing skill. Many of our personal problems are partially rooted in our INABILITY to do what’s required, and rarely do we think about this, because our lack of skill or knowledge sits in our blind spot.

resultsThe ability to set goals is important. Nothing happens until we first decide WHERE we’re going or what it is we WANT. Yet many of us are disillusioned by goals because we set them, identify the steps we’re going to take to reach them, but never reach them. Why is that?

Because taking action is the challenge. And if I asked you why you have been unable to take action I’m sure you would tell me that you’re a procrastinator OR you don’t have enough willpower. We conclude that we obviously don’t want our goals badly enough to stick long term with any program.

Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, McMillan and Switzler, authors of the book I mentioned earlier says that “when people believe that their ability to make good choices stems from nothing more than their willpower – and that willpower is a quality they’re either born with or they’re not – they eventually stop trying altogether. The willpower trap keeps them in a depressing cycle that begins with heroic commitments to change, which is followed by eroding motivation and terminated inevitably by relapse into old habits.”

So what’s the solution?

You need to figure out what’s missing in your process. People who have succeeded in making lasting change in their lives do two things:

  1. They progress through trial and error, keeping what worked and throwing out what didn’t work
  2. They create a plan that’s customized

You can know all the science of weight loss for example, but nobody is going to be ever able to tell you what you personally need to do in order to master your own weight loss. You will need to study you, living how you live, doing what you would do on any given day, in your particular environment given your personal quirks.

All the self-help books contain strategies and tactics that have worked for the authors and those they are writing about. This doesn’t mean that the information is useless. But understand that you have to become a social scientist using yourself as the subject. It’s the only method that will give you the results you seek.

Start with identifying those crucial moments when you are most at risk. These are the moments that would lead to the results you want – if you could get yourself to enact the right behaviors.  Look for conditions that would create the most temptation for you. When do these temptations surface? Where are you when this happens? What times during the day? Who are you with? Are you alone?

And once you’ve identified these moments you will need to set up specific rules that you will follow, once these temptations arise that you will establish way in advance, so when you are tempted you will put your rule into action. When this happens, I will do this. This behavior will lead you towards the result you want.

Crucial moments tell you when you’re at risk. Vital behaviours tell you what to do.

So here’s the process in a nutshell:

  1. Know what you want and why you want it
  2. Identify crucial moments
  3. Create vital behaviours
  4. Turn bad days into good data

And if you like equations….

Personal motivation + Reality check (what you know and don’t know and what you can and can’t do) + Modified Behaviour + Feedback + Adjustments = Your Process.

Bill Walsh was a towering figure in the history of the NFL. His advanced leadership transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the worst franchise in sports to a legendary dynasty. In the process, he changed the way football is played. Prior to his death, Walsh granted a series of exclusive interviews to bestselling author Steve Jamison. These became his ultimate lecture on leadership. The book that evolved out of these interviews is called ‘The Score Takes Care of Itself.’

Bill offered this advice “Direct your focus less to the prize of victory than to the process of improving — obsessing about the quality of your execution and the content of your thinking.”

If you are ready to take the first step towards customizing your process, click here.


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