Episode 18. Goal-Setting: Process Goals Versus Ends Goals
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A debate! Scott, Kevin and Mike debated the relative values of process-focused goals versus ends-focused goals. They all acknowledged that you obviously need “both,” but the debate surrounded where the emphasis should be placed, or how the relationship between the two worked.
Scott argued that many clients need to “let go” of their end-results goals, and instead embrace process-focused goals. In his four decades of experience, many clients cannot embrace process goals until they finally stop focusing so much on their end-results goal (e.g. “lose 50 lbs”), and indeed “letting go” is precisely what allows them to finally achieve those end results. He argued that there is a difference between people who are born with or socialized into an emphasis on the process, and they can get away with end-results goals, but for those who don’t have that experience or upbringing, their needs to be a much, much greater emphasis on process than the result.
By contrast, Mike argued that part of the value in end-results goals is having the ability to work backwards from them, to figure out your process goals based on what you want the result to be; then, as you move forward with your plan or roadmap, you can use that end-goal as a personal heuristic or test: “Are my actions taking me towards my goal?” “If I have to choose between A or B, which choice will take me closer to my goal?” Moreover, creating your own process or roadmap instills a sense of self-efficacy (which creates motivation, and makes it possible for you to see how this whole thing will work, which in turn makes the goal seem more realistic, especially if at first it seems like a particularly ambitious goal or stretch goal.
Both Scott and Mike agreed that most people do need to dig deeper on their goals, and understand why they want to achieve them (…to summarize a much more complex theme that emerged in the episode).
Kevin fell in the middle, acknowledging that he had both types of goals, but that on a day-to-day level, he had to be focused more on the process goals: what does he need to do today? Next week? The week afteR? And, indeed, many of clients in his experience do need to focus more on the process and be more realistic in their expectations, both in terms of what’s possible for an end goal and in terms of what it will take to get there.
Links / Resources mentioned
Scott’s Mindset of Achievement. It’s free here: http://scottabelfitness.com/achieve/