5 Roles of Process-Oriented Goals: Setting up Infallible Success (Digest)

Note: This is a digest version of a longer essay on goal-setting.  If you agree with the points made here, read the original to understand all the whys and hows.  Also, read the previous installment.

Instead of the common yet ultimately unreliable grounds on which to base our goals, we need to explore a different set of reasons why we need to set goals in life.  There is a different paradigm, an approach that can secure and enhance our sense of well-being, instead of tying it down to a do-or-fail paradigm.

5 Roles of Process-Oriented Goals

  1. Direction.  Unlike result-oriented goals, a process-oriented goal is simply a direction to walk toward, not a finish line.  You enjoy every step of getting there.
  2. Effectiveness. Process-oriented goals are simply a way to measure effectiveness, to gauge the impact of your actions.  Not a proof, though.  Just measuring sticks.
  3. Progress. Similarly, process-oriented goals provide milestones, so you know you’re moving somewhere.  It’s not a finish line, it’s just a passing point.
  4. Articulation.  Process-oriented goals give you focus. Without being a burden.
  5. Motivation. Because it’s not a burden, but a marker that gets you going on a path that is fun for you to be on, process-oriented goals create much greater motivation for action.

The main distinction between result-oriented and process-oriented goals come down to this:  Result-oriented goals are mandates.  Process-oriented goals are symbols. With result-oriented goals, you either succeed or fail. With process-oriented goals, you succeed simply by getting on the path, and it continues all the way to the moment you reach your goal.

Sounds enticing?  Let’s look at how to set process-oriented goals.


  1. Pingback: Our Best Version | 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Set Goals (Digest)

  2. Hello Ari. This is REALLY good stuff. I’m going to write an article about your paradigms on my blog, because I think the rephrasing is healthy, not for everyone, but for certain kinds of people in particular.

    Personally, I use and teach the Louise Hay metaphor of celebrating the growth of a tomato plant, one leaf at a time, and that’s all WELLANDTRULY Before the tomatos are coming….

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