It’s the process of intentional living that matters, not the results

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This week I failed to meet my weight loss goal. The results were in, I had not lost the weight I had planned to lose and had only maintained my weight from the week before.

Despite a small feeling of disappointment, as I reviewed my performance for the week I felt proud that I had managed to maintain my weight and not put on anything.

You see, I had not had a very good week as far as diet and exercise went. Due to some unavoidable but enjoyable commitments I had missed three days of exercising to my plan and indulged in celebration related food for a couple of days also. Not to excess, but enough to turn my usual calorie deficit into a plateau.

The Lean Turnaround by Art Byrne talks about the benefits of focusing on process rather than results. By the time you get the results, the success or failure has already happened. All you can do is learn from the results, readjust the plan and move forwards. I apply this philosophy on a daily basis in my work life.

As I looked at my results for the week I was reminded of this very important philosophy and rather than being downcast by the less than stellar performance in front of me I was consoled by the fact that I knew exactly how this lack of loss had happened. I was likewise comforted by the fact that my lack of progress was linked to specific, measurable events and not just to a general sliding off the rails. I was still focused on my plan. I had taken my few days off and then picked up exactly where I had left off. I was focused on the process.

When we focus exclusively on specific results as the measure of success we rise and fall on those results alone. This could apply to pounds on the scale, money in the bank or even how happy we are. Our feeling of success is linked to how that result fits in with the plans that we have made and we measure our progress in increments of results seeking.

By the time we weigh in on the scales or check the bank balance, its too late to change the result. How well we followed our personal plan or intentions is reflected by the mirror of our performance in terms of the results we have achieved.

By living an intentional life we change the focus of our life from results to progress. There is no endgame in intentional living. Each day we reassess how we have lived our life today. The questions we ask ourselves are related to how well we focused on our priorities and added value to our life. In a very real way, the results on my scales are an indicator of how well I have followed my plan and lived my priorities. My results tell me whether I have focused well or have some areas that still require work. The wins are sweet but the failures fill me with resolve to persevere.

At the end of the day, if I am discouraged by results to the point of giving up, I am not giving up on just losing a few pounds, I am giving up on my intention to life a healthier life with a stronger, more pain free body. By staying focused on the process of intentional living I remind myself daily why I am doing this, why it matters and why I’ll never give up.

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