Setting goals can be fun, and articles about setting goals can be equally fun. Why? Because there are so many. We love talking about how-tos, the formulas, the best way is to set goals.
Finding goals is one of the most rewarding things we can do. They help us feel happy and accomplished. Goals are an investment in our happiness. It’s hard to stay motivated to do anything day after day if we don’t have a goal. However, not all goals have been created equally.
Outcome goals are based on the results you are looking to achieve. In contrast, process goals can help you identify, document and work on your strengths and achievements to help improve yourself so you are more effective and productive.
In order to understand the difference between process goals and outcome goals, we need to look at the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset.
We all have a certain mindset – whether we’re aware of it or not. A fixed mindset means that you believe your intelligence and talents can’t be developed over time.
The idea of a growth mindset has been popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck. She found that adults with this type of mindset do better in the workplace because they were more motivated and resilient. They were also more risk-taking because they believed they could improve their intelligence and talents with work and time.
For example, you might have a fixed mindset about the school, and believe that you’ll never get good grades because you’re just not born intelligent. With this type of mindset, you’ll believe that if you’re not good at something, you’ll never be good at it.
In her seminal work, Dweck states that
“Students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence.”
With a growth mindset, you’ll approach challenges with an open mind – believing that you can change and improve. This will help you redefine success – something that 45% of workers struggle to quantify at the end of each day.
Here are three things you can do to revert from a fixed to a growth mindset:
- Accept failures as lessons and reflect on the positives
- Get out of your comfort zone to get used to discomfort
- Recognise and address any negative self-talk
Similarly, people who have developed a growth mindset will focus on process goals more than outcome goals.
Process goals focus on the journey that will take you to achieve a specific result goal. They are a way to build on your strengths and to continually grow your abilities as you develop into a better YOU.
Process goals are another way for you to get more done within the time you’re given. Whereas, outcome goals focus on specific milestones that are not fully within your control.
By being focused on why you want to achieve a determinate milestone and letting go of how you’ll be able to create a journey that works for you. Let’s say you want to spend more time running in the morning ahead of a race. Each run you do, you treat it as a lesson and victory in itself, instead of seeing it as nothing but means to a bigger outcome, the actual race.
Process goals are about showing up and enjoying the process, regardless of the outcome, knowing that showing up is part of success and what cultivates everyday happiness.
Next time you are setting a goal for yourself, break it down into the different steps you are looking to achieve and reflect on how you can enjoy the journey to the next milestone in your life.
Allow yourself to enjoy the journey and learn from it.
Goals can bring happiness to your life…
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”– Albert Einstein
Far too often we set goals that are separate to the whole purpose of our life. This is why I believe we are wrong. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to set work related goals, work life balance doesn’t really exist. Work is part of your life, and therefore all the goals that you set should be tied with idea of making your overall life happier.
Far too often we try to compartmentalise our goals too much, making them feel like a burden, more than achievement.￼￼
…if you create gaols tied to your feelings
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
It’s kind of funny to think that has humans we are looking to evolve constantly￼. History books will show that it’s literally in our nature to evolve. Therefore when people say, in a slightly corny way, the happiness doesn’t come from things from experiences they are onto something. Because the truth is happiness is tied to a feeling.
And since feelings change and don’t stay forever, we are constantly chasing that feeling.
Your goals should be there to feel and enrich your life, and trying to reach happiness on a daily basis. This is a recipe for better goals, and a much more fulfilled life.
The importance of setting better goals
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso
I know I talked about corny articles, so I’m going to throw a corny idea to you. Fulfilment comes from purpose, purpose is fuelled by goals. So planning your goals is a great way to live a life of purpose.￼Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, maybe I just like to plan things,￼ but making time to plan my goals allows me to feel much more driven on any given day, especially on Monday mornings.￼
Getting out of your comfort zone is incredibly sexy. You can quote me on this. If you don’t try to push yourself, you’ll never know how far you can stretch. The more you push yourself, the more you also understand your boundaries and limitations.
Have you outgrown your goals? Do you feel like you need something new, that challenges you here? This is the perfect time to level up. One of my mentors has a saying which goes a bit like this: “millionaires write their goals daily, billionaires right there goes twice a day.”
Yes, I promised you to stay away from corny settings, and it seems like I’m constantly feeling. However, there is some truth in this. Writing down your goals remind you what your purpose for the day is. Writing down what you wanna accomplish on a day-to-day basis helps you keeping yourself on track, as well as setting up a clear intention.
Take time to set your goals
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” —Zig Ziglar
I am a big believer in smart goals. The reason why I love them is that they work. Making your goals timely and chippable is essential because in order to know where you’re at I need to know what are you going to track.
I suggest to my clients to set up their daily plans as part of their morning ritual. Whether they meditate, move or journal l, I always recommend they make their daily goal setting part of a sacred ritual.
There are many more ways to set your goals, setting smart goals is not the only way to create goals that actually come to life. However, always make sure that your goal as a simple way for you to track your progress.
Create a clear path for your progress
“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” —Michael Phelps
One of the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to setting goals is not making sure we have a series of small action steps that we can get back to daily. Every single day you should be doing one thing that will get you closer to achieving your goals, no matter how small that may be. Even better, make sure that that small thing is the first thing that you do every single day.
I want this small task to be the one that is gonna make you feel accomplished, to make you feel like you got to work and you did something productive today.￼
Don’t fall into the trick that you do not need goals
“The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” —Seth Godin
This is a very important tip, but more than anything it’s a lesson. Setting goals is not fun. Assessing your progress, reviewing results is not necessarily exciting – unless you are me, obviously.
However, people have set goals of people that achieve bigger and bolder things. Maybe is because they set good goals, maybe is because they feel more invested in the feeling they are looking to tap into, or potentially the accountability of having a clear path in front of them helps them when things get tough.
In order to make an event impact you need to get clear on your purpose, and that should be challenging you to evolve.￼￼￼
Fail hard and fail often
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
This is probably my favourite reminder. A lot of the time your goals will change. A lot more times, your goals will fail. Do you think you are going to get what you want to get but for one reason or another, the goal post will move.
Sometimes failing to reach our goal allows you to get closer to what your heart really wants, and teaches you about resilience, grit and reveals your inner strengths.￼￼
Bonus tip: create a life fuelled by purpose
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” —Bill Copeland
Remember, goals don’t have to be complicated. Sunday your mango is just getting out of bed, and being able to face the day. And that’s okay. Whatever we are trying to achieve, goals are a great way to celebrate I have a little win. They’re a great way to remind us of the path ahead.
I do believe in the power of running on free flow, adapting, evolving, however, I find out that the old saying is actually true; you will be able to achieve whatever you set your mind to. All we need is a little motivation and little courage. Oh yes, and a little foolishness.￼￼
What's Your Reaction?
My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.