In my athlete days, outcomes were everything to me. It was a straightforward way to know if you were nailing it or not. Win. Or be close to winning. Enjoy the training along the way. It wasn't always that black and white, but generally, the goal was related to some kind of performance and that was how I knew I was succeeding.
That is one of the beautiful things about sport. It can be so simple to know if you are nailing it or not.
The trouble is, as a proper grown-up, it is much harder to quantify what you are doing. The simple outcome of winning or losing isn't really enough to know if you are nailing it.
I could probably set a goal of running a 3-hour marathon. I'd work my bum off to get there. But what would that process cost me? And what would happen if something in that process had to change? I'd feel great once I've got that medal around my neck, but would it all be worth it? What would it even be for? And what would I have to sacrifice to get there? Is the win at the end enough?
In the last six years I have become a parent. Those reading this who've experienced parenting firsthand or from a distance will know that control over the outcomes isn't always a given.
And throw "pandemic times" in there too... It has meant that I've had very little control over the outcome of anything, and I have had to change my mindset from outcome to intention and process.
As a former athlete, where outcomes were everything and controlling the process was critical, this shift has been significant. And I like the way it feels.
I still have targets that I hope to reach in business and life. But the way I go about setting them is so very different from simply knowing that the gold medal around my neck will feel very bloody good.
I now set myself a couple of words or phrases for the year.
And these words and phrases help guide my decision making and ultimately the steps I will take to get to where I am going. I think about the impact of the process on this word or phrase, and I can weigh up if these targets ultimately have the outcome I'd like.
For example, this year, one of my words is space.
Space is about a few things to me.
It is about creating space between home and work.
It is about creating a happy and nurturing space for my family.
It is about creating a community space at Belle.
It is about space to grow.
It is about being outside in spaces that make me feel good.
Giving my staff space to grow and shine in their roles.
So this year, when I make decisions, I come back to the word "space".
I think about space. I think about the process and the steps it would take for me to add more classes to the schedule and how that relates back to space.
My word is like a guide to help me make decisions. It brings me out of only thinking about the gold medal feeling good once it is around my neck, to how the process will feel and how the steps I need to take will impact my "word" and ultimately my world.
I still have targets. I still want to win. But I am finding that keeping my focus on my words or phrases for the year streamlines my focus. It allows me to keep direction. And ultimately, I am seeing I am winning just a little bit more.
I am finding myself more willing to make decisions, less overwhelmed when I do and super proud when the outcome aligns with my intentions.
If you could choose a word, or a couple of words for the year, to streamline your focus, what would they be??
We will explore this in more detail with Ami Rankin during our Mini-Retreat on the 5th of March! We will be going through a process to develop some words to help guide you to make decisions and overcome overwhelm.
To learn more about our Retreat - Hit the button Below 👇