Types of Goals

What type of goal are you pursuing? I classify goals based on the activity I must perform to achieve them:

  • Progressive activities (performed step-by-step, like working on a project)
  • Recurring activities (performing the same behavior daily, like exercise)

Each take a different approach, but once you get the approach figured out it becomes a matter of following the plan. I like that; just know what I need to do each day and then hold myself accountable to getting it done.

Progressive Activities

Progressive activities, like planning a vacation, buying a house or learning a new skill, are accomplished by moving from one task to another. It’s a step-by-step walk, and the great thing about these kinds of goals is that we can easily see our progress with each step we take.

The key, for me at least, is to know every day before I walk out the door what those specific steps or actions I must take are. If I know what I need to do, and keep that task or list of items in front of me, I won’t feel right if the day ends and I didn’t get it done.

Recurring Activities

Recurring activities are a little trickier for me. These are things like losing weight, which require that I do the same thing every day. Take a walk, be sure I record what I ate, and record my weight. Same thing … every day. Those can be easy once they become regular habits, but they are also tough because they can get mundane. Jerry Seinfeld came up with a good approach to handling recurring activities that I wrote about here.

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