by Che Garman
Main Goals versus Process Goals
When setting goals, most people start at the end. They start with their main goal in mind. And this is what must be done when writing down our goals. Main goals represent what we want to achieve. They are specific, measurable, and time specific.
Process goals are different. If we ask ourselves the question, "What do I need to do on a daily basis in order to achieve my main goal?", the answers would be 'process goals'.
Process goals are also called, incremental goals, or quota goals. They represent the incremental steps (or quotas) that, when performed daily, will help us realized our main goal. Process goals are also specific, measurable, and time specific.
For example, let's say that you want to write a book. You can estimate that your book might be approximately 400 pages, or 100,000 words in length (dependent, of course, on what type of book you are writing). If you decide that you want to work on your book every day of the week, and that you would like to finish the first draft in 6 months, then you will know you need to write approximately 550 words every day. Or, if you like, you can determine how many words you want to do every day, and then you will know when you will finish - which can be a very motivating exercise when you play around with the variables. This is the method I used to create over 2300 pages for the new Affirm Your Life App.
Process goals can be created for almost any main goal. You may not always know how long the process will take, but you can be assured that you are always moving forward.
- If you want to lose weight, you could set a process goal to exercise for 30 minutes every day. Or you could set a process goal to keep your calories under your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
- If you want to increase traffic to your blog, you could set a process goal to write one new article every day.
- If you are a student, you can calculate how many pages you need to read each day, in order to cover your coursework or reading list.
- If you want to increase sales, you could set a process goal to make 10 marketing calls to new prospects every day.
- If you want to increase your fitness level, your process goal might be to take 10,000 steps every day (recorded on a pedometer)
I used process goals to build this site. When I first started, I decided that I wanted all 90 affirmation pages done before I launched the blog. My quota was one per day. I used the Don't Break the Chain method to keep me motivated and on track. It worked perfectly. Some days I did more pages, but I never let a day pass without doing at least one.
When using process goals it's also a good idea to have in place a method for logging your progress. Whether you use a wall calender, a chart, or a chain of paper clips, you will always know that you are making progress, and this alone can help maintain your motivation.
It's also a great idea to have incremental rewards scheduled into the process. I call these Landmark Rewards. If you are writing a book of 100,000 words, you could have landmark rewards scheduled at every 20,000 words. Landmark rewards are not necessary, but if your goal is going to take some time to achieve, they can help boost your motivation.
Do at least one thing every day towards your goal. Make it a habit. And before you know it, your dream will be reality.
If you have an iPhone, there are several Apps available that allow you to create visual chains. I have used Streaks. It allows you to track multiple goals. It doesn't have a built-in reminder (which I think is cheating a bit anyway), but it does display your current longest streak on the badge icon - which should be reminder enough.
If you want motivation for your daily process goals, I highly recommend you give the Don't Break the Chain method a try. Whether you use a calendar, paper clips, an App, coins in a jar, or anything else you can think of - this may be the motivational tool you've been looking for!