Outcome, Process, and Identity Orientation
Here is an important clarification on goal setting. You don’t accomplish a goal simply because you have one. Yes, you are 42% more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down, but that’s more because it means you acknowledged your intention and you’re serious about it, not that there’s any mechanism behind it.
However, a well crafted goal SMART goal gives you the direction required to figure out exactly what you need to do to accomplish it.
When you set a goal you approach progress from something called "outcome orientation", which is taking the position of generating a specific result. Well outcomes are a delayed indication of the work you’ve been doing, they’re a lagging measure of the action you’ve taken. So if that’s delayed, then what can we do in the now to accomplish our goals?
Take action! Once you know where you’re headed, you need to get there. You need to take action. And that’s called "process orientation", approaching progress from the lens of the things that you do to take steps toward your goals.
But even then, how sustainable is it to use will power and discipline to take action? It will run dry eventually, which is why it’s important to make one final shift toward "identity orientation". When the actions you take are simply the person you are, then it’s not longer a decision to take the right action, it just becomes something you do.
You see there’s a system to all of it, and making that change you’ve always had on your heart is all possible when you have a comprehensive plan.