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Focus on the Process to Achieve Your Goals

Updated on August 9, 2018
Darleen Barnard profile image

Darleen Barnard is Certified Health Coach and Certified Personal Trainer who specializes in weight loss by using the power of the mind.

We Over-Estimate the Event and Under-Estimate the Process

One of the most common things I hear from my clients is their frustration and disappointment with themselves when they “cheat” on their new weight loss program. Although it is unrealistic for any of us to expect perfection, we all do. We all think we can and should be “good” all of the time. We are harder on ourselves than we would ever be to a friend or family member. So why do we get so frustrated with ourselves when we realize we aren’t perfect? I personally think it goes back to over-emphasizing an “event” instead of focusing on the “process”.

As John Maxwell states:


“We overestimate the event and underestimate the process. Every fulfilled dream occurred because of a dedication to a process.”

When it comes to weight loss, this couldn’t be more accurate. Instead of focusing on the “event” of eating a piece of cake, focus on the “process” and identify all of the things you are doing well and the steps you are taking to success!

The Law of Process is one of the most important laws in the 21 Laws of Leadership, and this includes self-leadership. We (leadership) develop daily, not in a day.

Think of the stock market. We don’t expect to put our money in one day and become millionaires overnight (although it doesn’t hurt to dream!). The same is true with self-leadership and with weight loss. It isn’t going to happen overnight. Like the stock market, our growth and our weight loss do not move in a straight line. We need to focus on the trend (or the process), not an individual event. As long as we are moving in the right direction, we are growing and learning.

This raises my next important point. When these “events”, such as eating a cheat meal occur, it is critical to take a step back and learn from it. What caused that event? Was it stress? Time? Money? Fatigue? Explore what caused it, and then brainstorm ideas for the next time it happens – because chances are good, it will happen again – that is life!

In addition to brainstorming solutions, find a BENEFIT to that event. Yes, that’s right. A benefit. Sound crazy? Consider this. If we can grow and learn from that event, not only are we learning something, but we are also creating resilience, maturity, creativity/innovation, problem solving skills, and it will motivate us to improve.

Next Steps

Practice this now:

  1. What was the last setback or “event” that you experienced?
  2. Explore WHY it happened.
  3. Brainstorm as many solutions as you can think of to PREVENT it from happening again.
  4. Consider all of the potential BENEFITS that occurred or could occur in the future.


Key takeaway, learn from the event, but focus on the process. That is the key to success.

© 2018 Darleen Barnard

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