The Way We Set Goals is Set Up For Failure

The Ultimate Volunteer.

There are two kinds of goals — endpoint goals and process goals.

End point goals are the summit of the mountain— that one moment that motivates everyone, that is the goal, the vision: Destroy the Ring.

Process goals are different. Rather than focusing on the What, they focus on the How. Instead of What will I achieve, habits focus on How I will achieve it: Taking the Ring to Mordor.

We all think in terms of endpoint goals because we’ve been brought up around them, and we see them being applauded and encouraged and glorified everyday. Because we are sold everyday that those are the kinds of goals we should be pursuing.

Maxims, bravado, and bullshit.

Okay, Instagram is BS, but it’s a reflection and uber-romanticization and exaggeration of how we all think — collectively. What we admire and what we all think we should pursue in our lives; we hear that in real life too.

Do well in high school and you’ll be fine.

Do well in college and you’ll be fine.

Find a good job and you’ll be fine.

Find a good partner and you’ll be fine.

Find a house and you’ll be fine.

Make enough money to have a family and you’ll be fine.

End-point after end-point, when these are just milestones in the process.

Process goals are different. Rather than focusing on the what, they focus on the how. Instead of what will I achieve, habits focus on how I will achieve it.

A process, is the consistent habit-forming work that goes in every day, every week, every month… that produces the desired outcome.

Endpoint goals are motivating, for sure. We can feel really inspired on the first or second page of the 7000-word book we say we will write that year.

But motivation fades, and we do what we usually do, regardless if the processes are good or bad; always kick in- because they’ve become habits.

Now, the question becomes — what kind of goals do you have?