Do you really want to change your life, or are you just looking for an outcome?
In my practice, when I first meet a person, he/she often starts off by stating an “outcome goal.” Common ones such as “I want to…
…lose 10 lbs.”
…have toned arms.”
…make a lot of money.”
But those are missing the f-ing point! Yes, I’m cursing, cause I’m pissed. Outcome goals are a pure waste of time.
Today I ask you today to stop living this way.
Granted, it is important to be goal oriented. But setting a goal without a path to achieve it is a surefire route to failure. And not just failed results, but the self-negativity that comes along with it. When all the energy is focused on solely the result (i.e. weight loss, which can be slow), it can get frustrating and tempting to give up. Sometimes even worse habits follow like extreme dieting/exercising/etc., which can be really harmful to the body. Ultimately, old habits return, and the cycle starts over again.
And then the real self-sabotage comes into play: putting off life until an outcome goal is achieved. It breaks my heart when I hear someone say “all will be perfect when I just (lose weight, have a million dollars, etc.). Or “I’ll start dating when x happens.” Bullocks!
Maybe instead of an outcome goal person, you’re a process goal one. Processes are steps you can take and control to achieve an outcome. The process can be frustrating, as you may not be achieving the desired outcome quickly enough or at all. Common process goals are things like “I will…
…add strength training to my workouts 2X per week.”
…batch cook meals on Sundays.”
…join an online dating site.”
…put $100 a month in a savings account.”
These tactics are critical in charting a course toward change, and language is important.
Let’s use weight loss as an example:
Outcome goal: lose 10lbs
Process goal: run 3X per week
Given the choice, I suggest focusing on the process, and enjoy it, instead of being obsessed the outcome.
However, the real break throughs happen when the goal is approached as an identity shift. With patience, and the right processes, you truly become that person.
Identity: I am a runner (or meditator, or whole foods eater, etc., but let’s stick with runner for this example).
No excuses. I run. Regularly. And I do things to support myself as a runner, like get good running shoes, take care of my feet, stretch, line up music or podcasts or quiet for my runs, drink water and eat nutritionally, etc. so I have the energy to run.
No “I’ll try’s” only “I wills.”
With that new identity comes a whole lifestyle. The commitment is natural, not forced and it is just who you are. As opposed to the floundering and self-recrimination that can come with an outcome goal of running 3X per week. Or the never ending up and down of the scale which can be soul crushing.
Get the difference?
It’s about mindset and identity.
I saw this play out in a funny way over the weekend. A group of friends went as the cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show to a Halloween party. Bob and I were Transylvanians. The next day I was chatting with the person who was “Rocky”, and we reveled at how we each became the character as soon as we had the costume on. We didn’t intend it, it just happened. It was our identity. Be yours.
So, repeat after me:
I AM a (yogi, whole food eater, etc.). And be one in all you are and all you do.
Go be your Transylvanian!
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
Photos by John Chimples.