Understanding how to set goals helps you achieve them. Stated another way, the right goals, pursued in the right way, leads to positive actions.
Outcome goals are big. They’re the “I want to get better at X” or “I want to lose weight” type of goal. An outcome goal is the end result of what you want. It’s the big picture goal. While it’s critical to more adequately define the exact outcome you desire, you can achieve an outcome goal without the exacting detail demanded by most goal gurus. How? By setting a “process goal.”
How a process goal is different
Process goals are the daily mini-achievements that help you move toward your outcome goal. They are the goals that you absolutely CAN control, that you can guarantee reaching. These smaller goals are the building blocks of your outcome goals and they DO need specifics. The more specific, the better. You may have to hit several process goals to achieve your outcome goal. Here’s how these two goals work:
Outcome goal: lose 25 pounds this year.
- consume no more than 1,500 calories per week, 400 per meal with three small 100 calorie snacks each day
- exercise for 30 minutes per day
- eat bread and red meat only once or twice per week
Getting out of debt
Outcome goal: pay off my credit card and one student loan this year
- make extra money to apply to my debt
- budget double payments for these two debts
- use 17 Sneaky Savings Strategies to find even more money to pay towards debt
Develop a stronger network
Outcome goal: become better linked and networked
- identify the people I can help and the people that can help me
- attend a networking friendly event
- make one call each day with a networking intent
Making more sales at work
Outcome goal: get 10 new customers each month
- call 5 new clients before lunch and 5 after
- pass the new proficiency test for product knowledge by next month
Finding a new job
Outcome goal: find a new job and get hired
- update my resume, designing it several different ways for different employers
- prepare for interview questions
- network with people in my industry to find a job
If you don’t develop your process goals, hitting your outcome goal becomes a matter of fate or fortune. The reason those process goals are important is that you never want to assume that you’ll always be in the same motivated state of mind, that you’ll always be on a goal high, that you’ll always remember why that outcome goal is important.
Process goals let you sneak up on and ambush your outcome goals. Set them right, work on them every day with purpose, and you’ll hit that outcome goal.
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