Five to six days each week I practice a combination of intermittent fasting and slow carb. This practice is directly supporting two important goals for me this year: one tied to improving my health and fitness ("dieting"); the other tied to reigning in unnecessary spending ("saving money").
Yesterday, a combination of things led me to giving in and going out for lunch. I was so disappointed in myself that I nearly tumbled into a binge... if junk food had been around I surely would have indulged.
On my bike ride home I thought about how stupid my overreaction was and tried to figure out why this upset me so much. My lunch choice (Chipotle) was reasonably healthy and cheap wasn't going to stop me from achieving my goals.
Then I discovered it. I implemented the action of skipping lunch to serve my goals—and it has been effective. But became so committed to the action that I was starting to mistake it for the goals. When I failed to complete the action I felt that I failed to complete the goals. And this mindset put the real goals at risk.
The actions we take consistently add up and definitely impact our goals and it's important to have the discipline and determination to take quality action. But it's equally important to remember that the action is not the goal, it's just one of many ways to get there. We must stay focused on the goal and push through little failures, and also be flexible enough to change our actions along the way if they aren't working for us.