Types of Goals

A Good Goal Plan Includes All Types of Goals

An understanding of the four types of goals will help you to create the best possible set of goals for yourself.  Success in goal setting begins with setting a proper foundation via a properly created goals list.

Here are the four types of goals:

1. Result Goals
2. Process Goals
3. Performance Goals
4. Destination Goals

Today we’ll take a look at the first three types of goals.

Result goals are also called achievement goals or outcome goals. They describe the result you will have when you finish the goal.

                  Example:  Save $1 million by age fifty-five.

They’re called result goals because they describe the end result or the destination you want to reach.

Process goals are also called action goals or behavior goals.

The best goal plan includes all types of goals.

 They describe how you will do something. Process goals may stand alone, or they may relate to a result goal you’ve designed.

                  Example: Work out at the gym three or more times per week every week this year.

Process goals are the “how.” How will you get to your destination?  They’re the stepping stones on the way to an end result.

Performance goals are also called mastery goals because they describe how well you will perform; they measure how good you are at something.

                  Example: Increase my sales revenues 25% this quarter over last quarter.

Performance goals focus on achieving a certain level of mastery based on your previous performance.

As for the last type of goal, it’s not likely you’ll find the term “destination goal” anywhere other than in my goal setting bookBurn Your Wish List, How to Stop Hoping for the Best and Start Planning for Success.  (Perhaps I’ll talk about destination goals in another post.)

The best goal plan includes all types of goals: result, process and performance goals:

  • Result goals give you overall direction, a target for which to aim.
  • Process goals give you ongoing motivation and measurable results
  • Performance goals help you to focus on improvement

Personal development and business experts, life and business coaches, and others in the “success field” may say there are as many as ten types of goals. I would argue that any type of goal not listed above is simply a variation of a result goal, a process goal, or a performance goal.

For example, there is a school of thought that another type of goal is an exclusion goal. An exclusion goal is defined as a goal that states something you will not do.

                  Example: I will not eat any white bread or pasta for the next thirty days.

First of all, goals should be stated in a positive way, (something you will do, not something you won’t do). Secondly, “I will not eat any white bread or pasta for the next thirty days,” is really a process goal. It’s how someone will accomplish something.

In addition to the three types of goals, be sure your list of top ten goals for the year are a good mix of challenging goals along with goals that are a bit easier.  One of the keys to success in goal achievement is to create a goals list for yourself that’s motivating and inspiring. 

To your success!


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One Response to “Types of Goals”

  1. Erin Love August 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I love making a monthly goal list for myself. Sometimes I complete all of the goals on my list and sometimes I don’t. But I DEFINITELY complete more goals than I would have had I not written them down!

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