Action Goals vs Outcome Goals
For most of my life, I've focused exclusively on outcome goals. Win the race. Lose 20 pounds Break 6-figures.
This year, I'm focusing almost exclusively on action goals.
Post (nearly) everyday. Move my body (nearly) everyday. Meditate (nearly) everyday.
I'm very curious to see what the outcomes are, when the goals themselves aren't focused on them, or even predict them. Internally, it feels like a breath of fresh air.
I like the fact that it deeply reduces my desire to steal from the future, to hit my goal more quickly. Whether that is by skimping on sleep, stacking my "gym days" for the end of the week (because I procrastinated) or getting into yo-yo eating habits. Action goals help me mitigate and minimize these patterns that are destructive in the long term.
Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) calls action goals systems, rather than goals. While you might not be certain what the system is going to produce, they "move you from a game with low odds to a game with better odds." In other words, rather than getting hooked on losing 20 pounds and failing when you only hit 19... or failing when you lose 25 pounds of fat, but gain 10 pounds of muscle, the system enables you to focus on and maintain gains, in whatever form they arrive.