According to Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University:

'No pain, no gain' is the rule when it comes to gaining happiness from increasing our competence at something. People often give up their goals because they are stressful, but we found that there is benefit at the end of the day from learning to do something well. And what's striking is that you don't have to reach your goal to see the benefits to your happiness and well-being.

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Believe It or Not, Research Shows Stress Can Make You Happier (As Long As It's the Right Kind of Stress)

inc.com

Many incredibly successful people set a huge goal... and then focus all their attention on the process necessary to achieve that goal.

The goal is most important, but once set, a goal's real importance is to inform the process created and followed to achieve that goal.

Then, once you have a process in place, put all your focus on what your process says you need to do today.

That's how you improve. But that's also how you find additional motivation -- and additional happiness.

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Set a goal. Then create a process that helps you learn that new skill or tackle that big challenge. Sure, the effort will be stressful. 

But think about the positives. 

Every day you will get to feel good about yourself. Even if you never quite achieve everything you set out to achieve, you'll be happier. 

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what striking is that you don't have to reach your goal to see the benefits to your happiness and well-being.

That means you get to feel better about yourself today -- and you get to feel better about yourself for years to come.

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