Performance goals inspire you to stretch yourself, but progress goals are what get you across the finish line.

I cannot believe that January 1st was already 2 weeks days ago!! It really doesn’t seem possible. With the countdown still, hopefully, fresh in your mind, how are you feeling about 2019?

If you’re anything like me, you see a year ahead that is full of possibilities, and have a healthy balance of both excitement and nerves about your goals and plans for the next 12 months. My head is truly abuzz with ideas and opportunity. I am inspired by the completion of the year that has just passed and the anticipation of what the new year ahead holds for me.

Now is the time to harness that inspired energy, while it is still unbridled and abundant ... before it is encumbered by the complexities of day-to-day demands. We all know what that looks like. So many of our good intentions fade into oblivion within a few short weeks ... in the early part of every year, I am always astounded as I watch how quickly good intentions are overwhelmed by old habits and routines in even the most ambitious entrepreneurs.

This is because, for the most part, inspired energy is fleeting and fragile. It doesn't hang around long unless it is nurtured, and inspired energy relies on action to stay alive.

Which brings me to your goals.

Have your goals been designed to nurture your inspiration and support you to stay in action?

If you’re not sure, I encourage you to think about your goals in the following context:

There are 2 distinct types of goals
— performance goals and progress goals
and both play an important role
in your overall success.

Performance Goals are achievement-oriented

They are linked to your vision of your future. They are measurable in terms of your desired outcomes and they provide you with the inspiration to reach for something that ignites you inside. Your performance goals may be one single vision and could even be what Jim Collins refers to as your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). They are great at inspiring and igniting a burning desire.

Most ambitious entrepreneurs want to make a profound and significant impact; however, performance goals alone are not enough, and here's why:

You do not have control over Performance Goals.
Your ability to accomplish them is not guaranteed.

The psychological impact of this lack of control is not to be taken lightly. It is significant. Especially when you fall short. Failing to achieve that performance goal is a breeding ground for self-doubt. You can end up feeling inadequate, incapable, dejected, and there are a host of other negative emotional responses that foster doubt.

Doubt is never a good thing for an ambitious entrepreneur!

And this is why Progress Goals are invaluable.

Progress Goals are activity-oriented

They are designed to build and reinforce good habits, valuable routines and overall behaviours that increase your chances of achieving your performance goals. Progress goals measure your growth, development and progress, and most importantly, you have direct control over your success. You have the ultimate authority over your ability to follow through on your desired routines, habits, and behaviours.

And one of the primary benefits of setting progress goals is the psychological impact. Even if you don’t accomplish your performance goal, you can still feel accomplished if you successfully followed through on your progress goals, and have done everything within your control to support your success.

Olympic athletes experience this cycle of inspiration and disappointment throughout their journey to the podium. They have no control over whether or not they will achieve their goal of earning a medal. However, they have control over their habits, disciplines, and overall progress towards their performance goal.

As such, if they achieve their performance goal, they know that they have done the work that was required of them and have earned their way there. Alternatively, if they do not achieve their performance goal, their disappointment may be profound, but they know that they have done everything possible and can still feel accomplished for all that they did to get as far as they did. They have not failed. They have progressed and BECOME a better athlete. They just haven’t achieved their performance goal … yet.

If their performance goal still inspires them, they can learn from their experience, set new progress goals, and try again. We are all familiar with those athletes. We have seen them return to the Olympic Games, still inspired, still passionate, and, having learned what progress goals to set from their previous experiences, even better prepared for their medal competition the next time around.

So, here are a few questions to help you focus on your goals ...

  1. Have you set Goals that nurture your inspiration and support you to stay in action?

  2. Why not start 2019 with Goals that guarantee your success?

  3. How might that impact your overall sense of personal and professional fulfilment?

Setting both Performance and Progress Goals will help you change your habits, keep your inspiration alive, give you a greater sense of fulfillment, and create better results for yourself in 2019.

Are you ready?
To your Success, Differently.
   - Michèle