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"Away From" Versus "Toward" Goals

Are you measuring progress toward your business goals as carefully as your progress towards your next free coffee?

Think of your biggest business goal like one of those coffee loyalty cards, where you buy 10 and get the 11th free.

There’s a reason those loyalty cards keep us coming back. The first time you buy a coffee, you are 1/10 of the way to the goal. But by the time you’re buying your 8th, with only 3 left to go, that purchase brings you 1/3 of the remaining distance. It's the same action, but the impact is greater.

As we move closer to our goals, each action that brings us closer to the finish line feels like it has a bigger impact than the one before.

Progress Increases Motivation. A goal gives you a target to aim for, like a free coffee. Having a target brings focus, determination, resilience, and motivation. But it only works if you measure your progress carefully.

If your goal is a big one, it might help to chunk it down into milestones so each action is more meaningful. Otherwise the progress might feel too slow. In my work with business owners, I’ve seen two types of goal.

"Away From" Goals First is the “away from” goal. If you’re in debt, you want to get out of debt. If you’re in pain, you want to get out of pain. So the first type of goal is simply to escape from a negative situation.

"Toward" Goals The second type of goal is the "toward" goal, which is what you get when you can visualize and verbalize a desired outcome. You don’t just want to get out of debt, you want 6 months of operating expenses in the bank. You don’t want to let go of an underperforming employee, you want to win an award for best workplace culture.

Of the two types of goals, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that the second is more powerful. Goals that specify a desired future outcome are more motivating and keep you progressing longer.

Pick your target and your incentives carefully and track your progress in a place you can see it every day.

So if you are ready to create your own toward goals, or have someone to hold you accountable to achieve them, contact me to get started and learn more about business coaching!

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