< Back to all Tips< Back to all Better Together Community Events< Back to all Self Improvement Sit Down Interviews
July 14, 2023

Trading Goals For Targets

Listen Now:

An incredibly effective way to orient your behavior and achieve a certain outcome is to set goals. Having goals in place gives you the clarity and focus you need to actually make progress on one thing and not get distracted by the infinite amount of things that are asking for your attention. 

However, it can be discouraging when we set goals, work hard for them, and then don’t reach them. It can make us feel like we failed or like we’re not good enough. And that’s where I want to introduce an alternative way to think about setting goals, with all of the same benefits, but without the guilt.

Something I learned from Brian Johnson at Heroic - Instead of setting goals, what if we set targets. This gives us something tangible and concrete to aim at but also is understanding of the fact that the end result is often out of our control. In aiming at targets, it transitions our focus from the outcome to the process. Your behavior, which is the input required to achieve a goal, is within your control - So that’s where your attention should be.

This also accounts for something else that people struggle with related to goals, which is that they change. And that’s what should happen. As you get more information, familiarize yourself with better context, the details of the goal may reveal itself. You get more clarity on what you actually wanted to achieve, what an actual good result would be, rather than the lesser-informed intention you set to get you started.

That’s why treating it like a target is helpful too. As you get closer you can narrow your aim even more, or you can change your aim altogether. Again, all a goal is meant to do is direct your behavior, and if seeing that force as something more dynamic and ever-changing, it gives you more permission to adjust your processes.

More Like This

Learn More!
Subscribe For Daily Emails!
Send Me The Fundamentals!