Summer is barely a week old, and my kids are already bartering with me. (Can anyone relate?)
Just after school let out, we headed to the beach on a mini vacation, where our boys took a surfing lesson and immediately fell in love with the sport.
When we got home, my youngest said to me:
“Mom, how many books do I need to read for you to buy me a surfboard?”
Truth be told, I’ve been known to make a few good-natured deals in an effort to get my kids to read more.
But when the annual dance around summer reading began this year, I found myself offering different terms:
“Look dude (he’s a surfer now), I don’t really care how many books you read.
What I’d love to see, is you reading—ANYTHING, in any amount—- on a daily basis—and maybe even telling me about what you’re reading—and if you’re enjoying it, and who the characters are, and what your favorite part is, and perhaps, if you’d recommend the book to someone else your age.
I’m not interested in rewarding the PRODUCT anymore. I want to see PROCESS!”
In my wellness coaching work, I see people struggling with process all the time. Heck, I struggle with it too.
We love to train our eyes on the big shiny product: say, a number on the scale, our beach-ready body, or maybe an exciting professional or LIFE GOAL. There’s always a ton of feel-good energy around images of the finish line.
But more often than not, we fall short of success because the energy wanes and we get all tangled up in the PROCESS:
To me, it’s a no brainer. Process wins over product every time.
Embracing the DAY-TO-DAY-NESS of getting to wherever we want to go in life, ensures the product—your shiny new surfboard, or whatever it is—will happen on its own.
How could it not if you just hang in there long enough?
As I help people in their process, and nudge forward my own (yes, NUDGE is often just the right word to use around goals), I’ve come up with a few feel-good tips for getting better at PROCESS:
Right effort feels pleasantly challenging. Forcing the effort (too big, too scary) feels like struggle. Struggle strangles process. It makes you want to give up. (*Note: There’s a learning curve to this one. Keep at it!)
I’m a surfer. I’m a healthy person. I’m a runner. I’m a fitness walker. I’m a writer. I’m loving my new job! Affirming your process AS YOU GO, is where you find the feel-good energy to KEEP GOING. It also increases the chance you’ll make consistent choices in alignment with your new identity. (Ex: Walkers walk . . . daily. Not just when they feel like it 🙂 )
Why wait until the end to have fun? Each action step should feel like a shiny new surfboard. (Or at least a gently used one). If every step along the way FEELS GOOD, who gives a **** about the product, right? Just like a good book, we’re happy taking our time getting to the end.
Let’s be honest though, we want the PRODUCT. The dream of the ultimate payoff is what motivates us to get off the couch in the first place.
But goals don’t cave like moms do, after persistent nagging or a few well-timed offers for extra help around the house. In fact, they often hold out longer than we would like, and only the strong and determined will triumph in the end.
It kinda seems obvious:
FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS is the only way to go.
This summer, I’m coaching my kid toward being a more engaged reader by rewarding his DAILY EFFORT. I’m not going to count pages, books read, or AR points. It takes all the fun out of it!
You read—you get a high five from me.
Why not join us with your process?
What is the day-in, day-out action step you need to take to reach your goal? (move, eat, meditate, hit the gym, write, journal, declutter)
🙂 Keep it light.
🙂 Remember: no action step is too small (really!)
🙂 Carve out space in your day—-everyday—-and invest energy in the process.
Let’s all meet at the finish line in a few weeks.
Feel good. Be Well. Meg
Wellness Prompt: I’m all about writing things down. Who wants to share their current goal, and let me know what your “day-to-day” action step is for completing it? What trips you up in your process? What does it feel like when you get it right?
P.S. 🙂 My Well-Life coaching session, Inspired G.O.A.L Setting, is the perfect way to get your goals on track for success. Trust me, you won’t look at goal setting the same way ever again . . . and your journey to the finish line will actually be fun. Check it out on my Well-Life coaching page!