Are You Setting the Right Kind of Online Goals for This Year?

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I’m a big advocate of goal setting because as Yogi Berra once said:

If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. -Yogi Berra

Or to lean into the wisdom of a more conventional organizational guru.  One of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is…

Begin with the end in mind

At OurChurch.Com, we spend several days each fall doing strategic planning. We dream about our mission, evaluate where we are, and then develop objectives and plan projects that will move us from where we are towards where we are going.

I do something similar for myself each year as well. Getting alone with God for several hours to dream and plan for the new year. It’s a key piece of my Live Intentionally philosophy.

So, I was rather surprised when I first saw author Jeff Goins – who is a rather intentional guy himself – write, Why You Shouldn’t Bother with Resolutions This Year.

Now Jeff isn’t really against setting goals, but his point is this:

Goal-setting, while admirable, is essentially pointless. Goals, in and of themselves, aren’t sustainable. They tell you where you want to go, not how you’re going to get there.

What you need are new habits, a new way of living that will bring different results.

I would respond by saying, “Yes, habits are important; it’s important to know how to get “there.” However, they don’t do you much good unless you know where “there” is.

2 Types of Goals

Ultimately, both goals and habits are essential.

Goals are like the steering wheel of a car while habits are the engine. A car with a steering wheel but no engine is useless, while a car with an engine but no steering wheel is pointless.

In a broad sense of the word, we are really talking about two types of goals: outcome goals (the end result you want to see) and process goals (what you are going to do to get there).

For example, “lose 10 pounds” is an outcome, while “exercise 5 days a week” is a process goal.

In part 2 of this series, I’ll provide some specific examples of outcome and process goals for online communications.

Join me tonight at 9 PM for #ChSocM Twitter chat

If you’d like to go more in depth on this topic of setting outcome and process goals for your online communications, join me tonight, Tuesday February 14 at 9 PM ET as we discuss outcome and process goals in this week’s church social media chat #ChSocM

And discuss in the comments…

  • How important do you think setting outcome and process goals are for online communications?
  • What if any outcome and process goals have you set for 2014?

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.


    • Thanks for the post! I'm looking forward to joining in the conversation tonight at the #chsocm tweetchat.

    • I don't know Jeff Goins, but I can't really agree with him. If you don't have an endgame in mind, how do you even know what habits are meaningful to you? I think of his process like this, if you wander about in life and at some point become successful at something, isn't it just a lark that you were successful? I mean after all you weren't striving particularly in that direction, you just arrived there. (unless I misread what he was saying?) Great blog post!

      • Thanks. I agree that if you don't have an endgame in mind, it's hard to know what habits are meaningful. Definitely need both an end game and habits to get where you want to go.

    • I like the metaphors used. Helps translate some of the abstract concepts into concrete terms.

    • Being aware of who you are and why you are here is important to all of us.Change your "outside" from the inside out.Thank God everyday for your sucesses and use your free will to help be part of change for mankind.Pierre

      • Thank you Luigi. I agree – goals, dreams, habits all point to living a life of purpose.