I make an effort to always focus on the process of attaining my goals, not the outcome. It’s a bit of a small distinction, but one I think is important. The process of going after a goal, is what you put into it. In fitness, that process will be training, nutrition and recovery. You lift the weights, eat proper food and make sure to get enough rest. The goal would be a stronger, better body. That’s the outcome.
The thing is, you can’t always control the outcomes. You can control the process.
For instance, you may have wanted to be 6’ when you were a kid. (I was a short kid. I didn’t ever make it to 6’ and I’m okay with it.) As a kid you could eat well and get plenty of rest (Process). This would help ensure you grow to your maximum potential height. But if your parents are 5’5”, there’s a good chance there’s nothing you could do to become 6’ (Outcome).
This isn’t meant to bum you out or frustrate you. Quite the opposite. You see, in any given situation, there are only 4 possible outcomes.
|Good Process||Poor Process|
|Good Outcome||Expected||Good Luck|
|Poor Outcome||Bad Luck||Expected|
An example of a Good Process is forming a good training, nutrition and recovery regimen and sticking to it for a period of time. If you do this over time, you will most likely achieve a Good Outcome (a.k.a. those six-pack abs of your dreams!).
I say “most likely” because there aren’t any guarantees in life. Sometimes you can do the right things and not have things turn out as desired. This is Bad Luck. This isn’t meant to be a deterrent. You may have wanted a six-pack but maybe your abs turn out to be asymmetrical or look different than those of the Instagram model in the picture. Or maybe you got hit by an asteroid. This is just Bad Luck. There’s nothing you can do about it, so don’t sweat it.
A Poor Process would be forming a half-assed training plan and halfway adhering to it. There are a lot of ways to mess this part up. It’s important to form a good plan with all three pillars (training, nutrition, and recovery) accounted for.
Someone following a Poor Process is not likely to see the results they want. They’re not even really trying to achieve them, are they?
There are some people who will be able to follow a Poor Process and still see results. This will not be the case for the vast majority (and I’m confident their results are temporary). This is called Good Luck. Relying on it is not a good life strategy.
I’m hardly perfect at this. It’s tricky to come up with a desired outcome, form a plan and then act on it without thinking about that outcome. But I’m learning to focus mainly on the Process and am actually enjoying it more.
Let me know what you think.