We complete tasks for the finished product, right? The finished product or outcome is the purpose of starting something, right? But, I want to challenge that thought. I want to challenge how you jump into things you want to do. The challenge is focusing on the process over the outcome.
As we continue to navigate our current world, what has changed for you? Many of us would say things have slowed down. With restrictions still in place, there is less for us to do. For the safety of ourselves, our families, and our community we have been doing a lot less – we have slowed down. If you reflect on the past year and a half, what activities have you tried? Or what activities did you want to try? Did you take any leaps of faith into something, did you take a chance on something that may not have worked out?
Pre-pandemic life moved so quickly that most of us didn’t have time to do ALL the things we talk about doing. And now, for the last year and a half, we have had that time to complete those ‘things‘. Yet, we still might not have, what’s that all about?! What has changed? Our world has slowed down, but have we slowed down?
Taking time to slow down and enjoy the process of doing something takes the pressure off of the completed task or outcome. In our busy lives, we had to simply get things done but now we get to be intentional about the things we love and we get to love the things that we do. By changing our focus to process over outcome, we get to spend time enjoying that process rather than simply checking off our to-do list until it’s complete.
This is a shift and embracing this enjoyment helps us stay present, which we all know is great for our mental wellbeing. Focusing on being present and intentionally connecting to what we are doing helps us to feel in control and grounded. I am encouraging you to focus on the process and have the outcome be the reward rather than the purpose for doing something.
Take a chance and shift your focus, don’t be so hard on yourself and allow yourself to just be. There are so many ways to get creative and shift your focus, but here are three options you can try this week:
- Start that project you’ve been talking about. Like right now, just start it!
- Make yourself a priority by learning something new. Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Play an instrument? Learn to dance? Try it!!
- Re-connect with something you gave up when life got in the way. Make a list of all the things you have tried but life got in the way and you stopped. Now review that list, pick one thing on it you want to do right now & do it!
Whatever you choose to do, do it with a focus on being presently engaged in the process. Know that you may not get it right the first, second, or even tenth time and that is OKAY. Feel the movement, enjoy the time spent, and most importantly take time to honour yourself in this.
Whether it’s learning to run or paint or organizing your garage, dreading the process and only focusing on the outcome keeps us from jumping in. So jump in, learn, have fun and be present.