There’s more than one type of goal. There’s two types in particular that are especially useful to differentiate between. These are Performance Goals and End Goals.
The End Goal is the outcome that you desire to achieve. It’s a big significant change in your life, and it’s likely to be something outside of your full control. It may be gaining a promotion at work, it might be making a large sale or it may be winning a competition or award.
These types of End Goal are a form of recognition or measure of success that it bestowed from the outside. As this achievement is outside of your control, then there is often little benefit to focusing on achieving them directly. You limit your potential because you are handing off your measure of success to a third party, you are losing agency.
Performance Goals are thing that are within your control. These are areas you measure against yourself, that you can recognise when you have achieved them and that you can control the progress towards that achievement.
Setting great Performance Goals will help you to reach your End Goal. If your aim is to win an Olympic medal, then your Performance Goal might be to consistently improve on your personal best. This takes something that’s out of your control, and ties the achievement to something in your control.
Set your outcomes up in this linked way. You don’t control getting the promotion, but you can control your performance, focusing on and improving the skills that will put you in a great place to be the easy choice for the next job that opens up.
Confusing an End Goal for a Performance Goal will set you up to fail. Setting great supporting Performance Goals will start you on a powerful journey of change, and give you the best possible chance of reaching your End Goal.