Hi all, Karena here. I am a very goal-driven person. That might come from my swimming roots; I started swimming at the young age of 6 and up until the age of 18, I swam year-round, day in and day out. After swimming, there was college, and after college, a job. Being accepted into OT school was a huge accomplishment (even though it might’ve taken me a second try to get in), running a marathon, and graduating OT school were all big goals that I’ve achieved. Sometimes at the end of achieving a goal though, I get a “lull” sense-like a “what’s next?” feeling. Can you relate? We’re all set out to achieve, to improve, to constantly keep moving forward. That is a goal-oriented mentality. Thinking about the next thing.
Lately though, these past several months, I’ve been focused on the process: a process-oriented mentality. Switching to a process-oriented mentality is a practice in itself.
When I start asking myself, “What’s the point?” In writing? Doing? Researching? Making? I remind myself that Doing IS the point. Enjoying the process. Where I’m at. Without expectation of the outcome. If I’m not finding some sort of enjoyment out of it, whether it’s a workout, an article, a project, maybe I have to reconsider what I’m doing.
Figuring out the best way to take care of yourself, of finding time for yourself, of making yourself a priority, is a process. It can be messy. Trial-and-error with a few mistakes along the way. But one of the most important pieces of self-care is flexibility. Being able to be flexible with the seasons-some seasons require growth, transformation, while other seasons require rest, and relaxation. Giving yourself permission to pivot, to be fluid, to listen to your body. Self-care is listening to your body and what it needs, in any given time. Being in tune.
The process-oriented mentality gives space for all of that, while the goal-oriented mentality is just focused on one thing. To find out which mentality you’re in, ask yourself this: If you knew that nothing would be achieved with what you’re currently doing, would you still be doing it?