As I’ve been working with my coaching and consulting clients to set and achieve their personal and professional goals, we’ve been very busy keeping our eyes on the prize. That’s a good thing. But… that’s not the only thing.
Yes, it is crucial to set goals and make a plan if you want to optimize your chances of achieving them and fulfilling your vision of success. But focusing too much on your goals becomes a problem if you find yourself saying “I will be happy when…” I close the deal, get the promotion, lose the weight, marry the woman of my dreams or any wish on your list.
Does that ever happen to you? This postponement of joy can sneak up on you even when you think you’re paying attention. Those of us in the business world are especially vulnerable to falling in this trap. Given that I write about keeping joy on the front burner, you’d think I’d have no trouble avoiding such problems. But I have to admit to saying no to joining friends’ invitations for weekend walks far too many times because I “had” to catch up on work. Then one day I realized my friends had stopped calling. That was the wakeup call I needed to remind me to put those joyful encounters back on top of the to do list.
Do you find yourself putting off the things that will make you happy and keep you fueled for the long journey ahead? Be mindful if you have the tendency to feel like you have to eat your metaphorical vegetables before you can have dessert. Make conscious choices and make sure you maintain a balanced diet of work and leisure pursuits.
And, for goodness sake, if you’re among the millions who want to lose weight, don’t wait until you’ve shed those pounds to allow yourself to be happy. Instead, try to love and enjoy yourself just the way you are right now. And commit to loving and enjoying the process of embracing the healthier habits that will bring you the results you hope to see on the scale. That way, you can be happy now, happy when you achieve your health goals, and happy as you maintain your healthy habits over the long haul.