Advertising

Last Updated on January 19, 2021

The Real Reason Why Most People Cannot Achieve Their Goals

Advertising
The Real Reason Why Most People Cannot Achieve Their Goals

Recall the times you/people around you were so ambitious about the new year resolutions and what happened later. We’re always very determined at the beginning and then frustrated as the goals haven’t been achieved at all. Then, we might blame ourselves for not having enough willpower to persist. But is it the real reason? Or we are lacking something else that’s really important?

What Are We Really Lacking?

Many people confuse goals with strategies. Once they set the goals they think they’ll achieve them, when they haven’t thought about the strategies at all.

Advertising

Strategy is just as important when it comes to our goals. Without strategy, we have only the finish line, without the means to cross over it. If you were running a race and you wanted to win, how would you make this happen? You would train, you would work hard; you would come up with ideas as to how best make your chances at winning the greatest.
By definition, strategy is how you endeavor to achieve your goals and make them happen. In other words having goals, and achieving goals, is not the same thing.

Advertising

How To Strategize?

We must make choices in order to have a functioning strategy. We need to choose and design a plan and set of strategic ideas that best enable us to make it to our destination. You must formulate the route. It is not good enough to simply say “I will run the fastest in order to win”, this is again a goal, and not a strategy and it does not present a physical motion of how this goal will happen. It is the idea versus the practice. And we must make sure that the practice works. We must break down how we are going to train for the race, how we will gain speed, what it takes to achieve more speed, agility, and fitness, and start putting it into practice in order to see if these choices will work, and thus be deemed a success.

Advertising

Changing Your Strategies

If, for example, your goal is to lose weight, you will list ways (strategies) in order to achieve this goal. Perhaps you will run three times a week, every week. Perhaps you will cut down on sugar, or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator. At the end of the week you weigh yourself and see if these strategies are working. If you are losing weight, you are on your way toward your goal! If you are not losing weight, however, it is always a good idea to tweak your plan, and revise your strategies. This is just as important in reaching your goal as devising your strategic plan in the first place. By keeping track of our plan, we can see what is working and what is not. In this instance, perhaps you are still eating too much and so the other strategies are ineffective. So you start running five times a week, and cut 25% from your meals. At the end of the week you weigh yourself again and hey presto! Results. You have fine-tuned your strategy so that it is moving significantly toward where you need to be. Your strategy is in motion and it is getting results. This means that your goal is moving forward from an idea, to a reality. And if you stay on track, you should reach your desired outcome – and cross that finish line – in no time at all.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: Magdeleine via magdeleine.co

Advertising

More by this author

What Your Coffee Preferences Say About Your Personality You Are Never Too Old To Set Another Goal or To Dream A New Dream The Real Reason Why Most People Cannot Achieve Their Goals 25+ Quotes That Bring You Inner Peace To Face With Every Challenge What Is Lactose Intolerance And What To Do If You Have It

Trending in Goal Getting

1 What Are Process Goals? (With Examples) 2 8 Simple and Effective Ways to Start Reaching Goals Today 3 How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals 4 20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams 5 Goals vs Objectives: What Are Their Differences?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 16, 2021

What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

Advertising
What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

Ready. Set. Go. For years, this was my three-step mindset when it came to goals. I would reach for the moon and hope to land among the stars without feeling the pain of the fall. This approach was all or nothing, and as a result, I experienced loads of burnout and almost zero productivity. In short, my task list was filled with high-level intentions, but I hadn’t taken the time to create a map to reach the destinations. I was lost in the planning stages because I didn’t understand process goals or have any examples to follow.

Since then, I’ve learned how to embrace the journey and break my outcome goals into smaller and more manageable process goals. This approach has improved my focus and reduced frustration because I’m now working towards a surefire strategy that will take me where I want to go––I’m creating a plan of action with achievable daily targets (a process goal).

What Is a Process Goal?

A process goal is not a destination, it’s the path you plan on taking to get there. For example, if you want to become better at writing, your process goal would be to post one blog article per week and learn from the feedback you receive. The destination is a monthly goal of 12 articles.

This distinction is important because it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these types of goals are not all or nothing. Think about it. You’ve heard it said: it’s not about working hard but working smart.

Well, a process goal is an actionable target with what we call SMART criteria:

Advertising

  • Specific – The more detailed your goal, the better. For example, instead of “I want to be fit,” you would say, “I want to lose five pounds.” Make sure your goal is crystal clear.
  • Measurable – You need a way to measure progress and success, so it needs to be quantifiable. This is where you decide what “fit” actually means for you (more on this later).
  • Achievable – If your goal isn’t challenging, then it’s not going to be motivating. On the other hand, there must be a steeper mountain to climb if you want substantial results.
  • Realistic – “I want to run a marathon” is not practical for most people. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources (e.g., training program) required to achieve your goal.
  • Time-Bound – Your goal needs an assigned deadline or it’s just a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but what happens when the fantasy ends?

To summarize, these are the essential components of any process goal: specific, measurable, achievable within a certain time frame, and realistic.

What Is a Destination Goal?

A destination goal is a point in time when you plan to be at a particular destination. For example, if your goal is to get to represent your country at the 2025 Summer Olympics, you right need to focus on smaller increments to attain that success. On your way to that goal, you need to focus on smaller destinations. First, make the national team. Then, compete in a few events and so forth.

If you try to make it to the Olympics from the very start without any milestones along the way, it would be too daunting. On the other hand, if you focus on each milestone as a destination goal, it will all seem possible and achievable.

Process Goal Template

Let’s say you want to become a better cook. Here is one way of writing the process goal: “I will save $100 per week by cooking all my meals at home for 12 weeks.” This would be your destination (monthly), and the steps required to achieve this goal (weekly) would be:

  1. Spend one hour on Sunday planning my meals for the week.
  2. Shop for groceries after work on Monday and Tuesday nights.
  3. Cook all meals at home on Wednesdays through Sundays.
  4. Pack my lunch for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  5. Save $100 per week in cash by cooking at home.

This process goal will help you become a better cook by teaching you to save money through planning, shopping, cooking, packing your own lunch, and trying new recipes. It also includes a weekly reward (saving $100 in cash) that will help you stay motivated.

Advertising

Process goals encourage you to reach your ultimate goals. When you feel like you can accomplish smaller goals along the way, you gain sustainability and confidence to move forward.

In many ways, process goals are a lot like faith. Each accomplishment brings you closer to seeing the fullness of the life that you desire––it breaks through the fog and makes things clearer.

What Questions Helped Me Find My Process Goals?

After several years of setting lofty goals and becoming increasingly frustrated when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I decided to take a closer look at my approach.

Now, there are many ways you can do this, but here’s how I went about it. Last year, I asked myself the following questions:

  • What am I doing right now?
  • How can I get better at this?
  • Is this process goal leading me closer to my ultimate goals?

The choices I made from the answers to these questions became my process goals. They were the driving force that kept me motivated and moving forward when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish lifelong goals that I had given up on years ago. For example, I’ve been able to obtain a publishing contract, create more digital products for my business, and enjoy the moment.

Advertising

Before I broke down my goals into smaller ones, I was struggling to just get out of bed. The thought of my endless list kept me stagnant. Now, I look forward to each morning and taking on smaller projects to reach profitable outcomes.

What Are Some Process Goals You Can Try?

So, now that you understand the importance of process goals, let’s get you started with some examples that you can utilize this week:

  • Sign up for a new class.
  • Complete one portion of your project by Thursday.
  • Start walking around the block instead of running a mile.
  • Improve your writing by spending 30 minutes everyday journaling.
  • Practice your interview skills.
  • Read at least one book from the library this week.
  • Do ten push-ups each day before you leave for work.

You get the idea. These process goals don’t have to be complicated. If anything, you want to break down your plans to the point of them feeling easy or at least doable without needing a week’s vacation. By breaking your goals down into smaller pieces, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter period. You’ll also feel more confident that you’re able to accomplish something within the moment.

It isn’t easy to continue towards your goal if achievement feels too far away. You need to celebrate the small things and embrace the process.

What Do You Need for Process Goals?

Think about how much time and money you’ve spent on new clothes, books, technology, etc. Many of us want to keep up with the latest trends and purchase the best gadgets from Apple or Microsoft. But all of these extra investments come at a steep price.

Advertising

To find your process goals, you may have to face some difficult emotions or situations bravely and confront them head-on. You might need to forgo the new outfit or the latest Mac book to meet your overall objectives.[1] Remember, process goals not only protect you from feeling overwhelmed, but they also keep you from being distracted.

Final Thoughts

You may feel overwhelmed at first when trying to set a process goal. Sometimes, just thinking about change triggers stress hormones, which only leads to more worries and anxious feelings. However, if you keep yourself focused and take small steps in the right direction, you’ll soon realize that goals don’t have to be complicated.

You can achieve your process goals one day at a time, and you can start today by breaking down your larger goal into smaller steps. It doesn’t matter if the process takes a week or six months, what matters most is that you’re moving forward and doing something to make yourself better.

Now, go on out there and achieve one of your process goals!

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

Read Next