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Fight Stress With Process, and Win

Sunday 7th April 2013

I received many notes after last week’s blog asking if I could explain in more detail what ‘process’ means. This was in the context of my mantra ‘focus on process and let the results take care of themselves.’ This is such an important element of success in any walk of life that it merits further mention. I hope this extract from The $447 Million Secrets of Sport is helpful.

‘A good starting point is to adopt the mantra of ‘focus on process and let the results take care of themselves.’ Consider your sport, and list ten daily processes that would define a successful day. Processes are different to results.

A result might be to finish in the top ten, reduce your lap time by two seconds, or increase your success statistics for taking penalties. However in reality these results are largely outside your control. There are many reasons why it may not be possible on the day to hit your targets. So there is no point you worrying about it.

However, you are in control of your processes, and one process may be to arrive ten minutes early each day for training, and spend more time than the others on your warm-up routine. Apart from the fitness benefits you will also feel good because of the extra effort you have made.

Follow the same steps with your nine other key processes. Evaluate these processes at the end of the day. Have you followed them all perfectly? If so, you have done all you can do. Give yourself a reward.

After a week of similar success give yourself a bigger reward. If you are lucky your coach will reward you too. After a year it is certain that you will have more positive results, just by following and reinforcing your daily processes.

An enlightened coach will set and reward process goals, not issue mindless orders such as to score twenty goals each season. Remove the stress and the athletes often exceed their coach’s and their own expectations. Success comes from doing the little things right, every time, by staying in the present. Another word for this approach is mindfulness. Mindfulness can be taught, and improves with regular practice. Developing processes for your sport will be a great start.’

So process does work, and will work for you too, whether you are a parent, teacher, athlete, chief executive, presenter, student, or poker player.

Try it and see, and as always let me know your results.

Have a successful week, Steve