Why it’s better to focus on tactics than on results

My high school wrestling coach inspired a generation of boys through the promotion of focusing on process. “A Champion always does one more” was one of his famous one liners. What he didn’t say that was that a champion always won the region championship. He focused on the type of person we should be, as opposed to the type of things we should accomplish. You can’t control who else is in your region, it’s dangerous to bet everything on outcomes. 

If you’d rather watch a video, you can find the video I made about it HERE.

How often have you looked back at your goals from the previous year, not having met some of them, and realized that you lacked a plan to actually accomplish them?

Take a step back to look at your goals, and ask yourself if your current daily and weekly activities are enough to take you to goal completion.

My favorite method of goal setting is something I call the HATS method. It incorporates multiple ways of looking at a single goal, and puts emphasis on each element, including the tactics that can be used. Here’s a link to the VIDEO I made about the model.

My friend Matt accomplished something that I think most people in the world lack the discipline to do. As a native Idahoan, yeah, from Idaho in the USA, he has spoken with his 4 year old exclusively in Mandarin Chinese. When I questioned Matt on how he did it, and if he had applied any sort of goal setting technique, he simply replied that he liked the idea of it, and that it was very inline with what he thought he should do.

He adopted a simple process that would teach his daughter Chinese, and that process was to speak with her exclusively in Chinese. Simple. She can now speak Chinese – it’s amazing to see.

Another lesson we learn from this story is that if our beliefs are aligned with a certain goal, it will be easier to implement. 

Goal setting is a technique we can use to modify and change our behaviors when our values and beliefs aren’t already aligned.

I felt a certain let down after I sold my first company Bikewagon. I had reached the end of a journey, but realized I was still thirsty for more. My main take-away from that experience was that I enjoyed the process and journey more than I enjoyed the final outcome or results. 

I resolved to create a new journey, and as much as possible, focus on the process instead of the results. 

Some of the benefits of focusing on the journey and not the destination are:

  • You learn to become more present, and content with your work on a day to day basis.
  • You’re not waiting until the finish line to celebrate. The main upside is that you spend your time doing things you love, that you trust will take you where you want to go.
  • You have complete control over your process, and aren’t giving control of your success to outside factors.

“Find joy in the process, and the results will come far more easily than you’d expect” – Jay Acunzo

When I set my goals using the HATS model, I make sure to build out the tactics necessary to reach my goal, then I create a plan to execute the tactics and let go of some of the stress of where I am in relation to hitting the goal.

What other benefits do you notice when it comes to focusing on tactics instead of results? Let me know in the comments.

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