anxiety and Goal Setting

Anxiety and goal setting

With 2023 upon us, many of us have made new year’s resolutions and perhaps set some goals for the year ahead. It may be helpful to understand that not all types of goals are equal in terms of boosting our performance; and focusing on the wrong types of goals may lead us to experience unnecessary anxiety. Many of us are highly effective at setting outcome goals and to a lesser extent performance goals. Research into high performing sports teams, shows that those teams which focused more on achieving process goals rather than outcome goals performed better. Read on, to learn more about the different types of goals we can set to enhance our performance.

Types of Goals

Outcome goals are those goals which specify the end state we are aiming to achieve. For example, an outcome goal might be to find a role earning $100,000 per year within the next two years. 
Performance goals are those goals which we can use to track our progress on the way to our desired end state. For example, we might have a performance goal to work in a large corporate organisation within 6 months. We can think of these goals as being like milestones along the way.
Process goals are those goals which outline the actions we will take on the way to achieving our ultimate outcome goal. For example, in order to achieve our goal of earning $100,000 per year we may decide to meet with our mentor at least once per month, or create one new connection in our business network per week.

Anxiety and goal Setting

Often the outcome goals we aim for may be partially or entirely out of our direct control. Focusing on things which we have little direct control over may lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. Conversely, our process goals tend to be things which are more within our direct control and influence whether we achieve our outcome goal. The more we focus on things that are within our direct control, the more confident and relaxed we tend to feel.

In Summary…

When setting outcome goals for 2023, it may be helpful to set both process and performance based goals. Contact Uplift Psychology to find out how we may help.

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