Intentional Living – Breaking free of a results driven life

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know I’ve spent the last few months ‘focusing on process’ to try and develop habits that will carry me into a healthier, more pain free future.

I wrote about this journey, my struggles and various discoveries in  Motivation Lost, Patience on the HorizonWhy Why Why? and Focus on Process Actually Requires Focus…Who Knew

This morning marked two months since I decided to stop measuring my progress for a while and focus only on the process I wanted to follow. It is finally time to take stock, not only of my results but of the whole process itself.

As far as results go, I did pretty well considering I had a rocky start. A the beginning of the experiment, I couldn’t get motivated and I certainly wasn’t focused. Over the two months I lost a couple of pounds and and an inch here and there. More importantly my back and leg pain has improved from a level where it was interfering with my lifestyle to being only mildly annoying.

That aside, the less tangible results of the experiment were much more far reaching than what I could see on the scales or on the tape measure.

Without external feedback, I was forced to look internally. How was I doing? Was I sticking to the plan? Why wasn’t I motivated? What was I going to do about it?

Plagued by a vague feeling that I wasn’t achieving, but with no proof available either way there were only two choices. I could stick to the plan, find ways to motivate myself and focus on moving forwards in blind faith or I could choose to do nothing, knowing I was making a deliberate choice not to move forwards. Without external feedback, there is no false hope that by some miracle, changes would happen. There is only following the process, or not.

In some ways, the best side effect of the focusing on process experiment was getting out of the habit of requiring external feedback to move forwards. If you’ve read my previous blog posts you’ll know that this took some adjusting and a few weeks to establish motivation without results.

This morning, I really didn’t even want to check my results. I didn’t want the possible disappointment or satisfaction that comes from measuring oneself against a specific target. I realised that the results I achieved had very little to do with the journey I had been on for the last two months. I had finally adapted to moving forwards without external feedback and was reluctant to fall back into old habits.

However, the experiment had to end and the results had to be taken. In the end, seeing positive tangible results was less valuable to me than the lessons I’ve learned on this journey. Ultimately, I didn’t really need to see the specific numbers to know that I had finally taken the first steps on the journey to reverse a lifetime of results driven habits.

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