Why You Should Break Up Your Result Goals Into Process Goals – Part 2

Let’s say you want to travel from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California—which is about 2000 miles—and that you want to travel the distance in 10 days. It would mean that every day, you would need to travel 200 miles to reach your target.

As discussed in my previous post, traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles is your result goal (your ultimate target), whereas traveling 200 miles per day is your process goal. If you focus on your process goal (i.e., traveling 200 miles per day), you’re sure to reach your result goal (traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles).

Process goals are intermediary targets that, when reached, guarantee the accomplishment of your result goal. They are sub-goals that happen at regular intervals: every day or every week or every month.

These regular intervals give you checkpoints to evaluate if you’re on track to reach your goal and provide you with an opportunity to make adjustments early enough if you’re off course.

While your result goal defines “What” you want, your process goal defines the “How.” “What” do you want? “I want to travel from Chicago to Los Angeles in 10 days.” That’s your result goal. “How are you going to do this?” “I’m going to drive 200 miles every day in that direction.” That’s your process goal.

See, process goals tell you what you must do, as opposed to what you want (result goals). This is important because ultimately, it’s what you “do” that causes you to achieve your goal. If you keep “doing” (i.e., reaching your process goals), you’ll get what you want (i.e., achieve your result goal).

It’s a key distinction: a good process goal defines an activity you must perform to reach your result goal. The process goal doesn’t tell you the outcome, it tells you the activity, which when carried through, will produce an outcome.

For example, if your result goal is to lose 60 lbs in the next year, setting the sub-goal of losing 5 lbs every month isn’t a good process goal. Losing 5 lbs every month defines what you “want,” not what you must “do.”

A better process goal would be to exercise at the gym for 1 hour every day, as it establishes what you must do to reach your result goal. Of course, that’s not the only thing you must do. You could also have the process goal to hold a one-day fast every week or whatever other process goals you would need to set to reach your result goal.

A good process goal points to something that you can control; you only achieve the result when you perform related actions. And because you control your action, it’s better to focus your efforts there, knowing that the result will follow suit. Results are a by-product of a process. By controlling the process, you increase your likelihood of achieving the result.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.