BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

A New Approach to Setting Goals

When it comes to setting goals, I’ve been doing it backwards.

My entire life, the goals I’ve set have been outcome-based.

Get this job. Lift that amount of weight. Write a 100-word article every day for 100 days.

There is value to this approach, because not only does it show you where you need to go, it demands that you get there.

It sets everything up as an all-or-nothing proposition, eliminating any middle ground and forcing you to step up your game.

As Yoda opined:

“Try not! Do or do not. There is no try.”

On some level, we all need that type of expectation. It fuels our motivation, and it encourages us to face — and overcome — our fears.

It brings the seemingly impossible within reach.

But too often, under the weight of these demands, I’ve found myself falling on my face instead of rising to the occasion.

I’m not proud to admit that. I would like to be tougher, to be more clutch.

But I’m not. Or, at least I haven’t proved to be. Yet.

Which is why I’ve started setting more procedural-based goals, like committing to the work; managing my fears, consistently showing up; and controlling what I can control.

The 6 inches in front of my face — nothing beyond that matters. Because once I do my part, it’s no longer up to me where I end up.

I’d be lying if I said this transition has been flawless.

There are still too many instances in which my old mindset creeps in and I get sidetracked by worrying about the what-ifs.

But in those rare moments, when I am able to get out of my own way and set the stage for success, it’s amazing how often success follows.

Turns out you can only get the results after you’ve executed the process.

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