Goal Planning: Progress Goals vs. Outcome Goals

February 14, 2017

Goal Planning: Progress Goals vs. Outcome Goals

When goal planning, there are a few ways to set goals. A concept I've come across recently is the idea of setting progress goals instead of outcomes goals. 

What's the difference?

Traditionally, we set goals focused on the outcomes we want to achieve. For example, 'reach my goal weight of X', 'travel across the world', 'complete higher studies', 'land my dream job'... You get the picture.

An outcome goal is useful because it helps you visualise the end point you're working towards, the gold-pot at the end of the rainbow. But, depending on how "extreme" an outcome goal is, it can also feel completely out of reach. Let's go back to the weight loss goal. As an example, if your goal weight is 30kg from your current weight - it feels far away. It might be challenging to visualise you actually working towards it, if you're focused solely on the end outcome.

Now, you can obviously break down a goal, for example into 5kg increments. However, you're still only giving your mind and body the outcome, without giving yourself the steps to get there.

How will you achieve your goal?

Progress goals are focused on the actions you will take on a daily basis. You can also call it habit goals or routine goals. For example, let's continue the weight loss goal. Instead of focusing on a number on the scale at the end of the process, focus on the actions you need to take to get there. Progress goals could be 'exercise for 30 minutes 5 times a week', 'drink 2.5 litres of water a day', 'get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night', 'eat wholefoods with limited processed foods', etc...

This concept is based on a common saying - trust the process.

Begin with your outcome goal. Write out the new actions or habits you would need to implement to achieve it (following a professional's program or your own game plan). Then, stop focusing on the outcome goal and focus solely on the progress goals every day.

If you give this ago, let us know how it worked for you!

x

The New Executive

 

The topic of this article was inspired by ideas shared by Sam Wood as part of the 28 by Sam Wood program. 




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