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Don’t Let Goals Rob Your Happiness: 3 Steps to Enjoyment

As business owners, we have all been there; we have the excitement, the vision, and the objectives listed within our business plan. We have marked our first mountainous goal and taken the leap toward success.

But somehow, we end up discouraged, defeated, and doubtful. Our negative feelings drag us down and we lose momentum. This is the opposite of success.

Then we pick ourselves back up, aim at the goal again, create new energy and momentum, and repeat the same cycle. We are so dedicated to our vision and so hyper focused on what others are doing or our own gaps that we keep riding the roller coaster in the name of success.

That sounds really stressful, unsustainable, and not at all enjoyable right? We are allowing the goal to rob us of our happiness. We never stop to appreciate where we are and rarely celebrate how far we’ve come. The goal post that we’re aiming for is always going to be moving forward so we’ve got to be purposeful about embracing your journey.

How do you do that? Let’s set it up this way:

Ninety percent of success starts with your mindset. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”

I love that quote because it’s so true. The starting point to success comes in having the right mindset; the mindset that you CAN. We don’t even know all that we’re capable of and won’t until we start and NEVER GIVE UP. By focusing only on what success looks like, we can only see the result; we don’t often get to see the journey of how the person got there. I can guarantee that all those success stories and perceived fairy tale endings had some mess in it; the closed doors, denials, and setbacks. The difference is, they didn’t give up.

When we start with our mindset, and shift the way we perceive and process, we can enjoy working towards our goals. Here are the three ways to stop letting goals rob you of your happiness:

  1. Stop the comparisons. Comparing ourselves against everything is natural and sneaky. Social media has played a significant role in increasing comparisons. It’s important to pay attention to how you digest these stories and images when scrolling through the apps and remember that you are never behind, never late; we can’t all do it in the same order on the same timeline. We all start at Chapter 1 and when you compare yourself to someone who has gotten further down their path, let’s say to Chapter 15, it’s unfair. You’re not less intelligent, less motivated, or less talented, you’re simply at the beginning of your journey. Change the narrative about the journey.

  2. Stop focusing on the gaps. One of my favorite books that covers this topic is “Chop Wood, Carry Water” by Josh Medcalf. In it, he really hits home the idea that there will always be a “what’s ahead/the next goal” and that by going only from one goal to the next is where the unhappiness can set in. But when you start enjoying the process of going from A to B, focusing on progress over perfection, and realize that results are not instantaneous, you’ll have a much better mindset. And a more positive, satisfied mindset can help to prevent burnout and bailing out.

  3. Track your wins. When you’re constantly focusing on what there is to do, who to be, and how to get where we haven’t yet been, we get too busy looking ahead and forget to celebrate ourselves. It’s important to reflect and celebrate the wins, big or small. Take a few moments at the end of each day to recognize your win by writing it down somewhere. Start a practice of grace and gratitude.

Changing your mindset is the first step to embracing the journey and not letting the goal rob you of your happiness.

I’ll leave you with words from my friend, James Clear.

“Every skill you have today was once unknown to you… the human brain is a learning machine. Stick with it.”


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