Performance goals vs. Outcome goals

Performance goals vs. Outcome goals
When linked to long-term goals (lifetime or Capstone), provisional goals are best
written as performance goals versus outcome goals. Performance goals focus on the
person’s performance while outcome goals focus strictly on the outcome or result.
Performance is what the person controls while outcomes are frequently controlled
by others. Unfortunately, outcome goals do not take into account how well a person
performed. Goals based on outcomes are extremely vulnerable to failure because of things
beyond your control.
Effective provisional goals focus on performance, not outcome.
A person may have an outstanding performance and not win a contest because
other people have performed even better. Conversely, a person may perform poorly and
still win if all others perform at a lower level. If a person’s goal is to run the 100m race in
12.2 seconds, the person has greater control in achieving this goal than winning. However,
the person has even greater control of achieving a goal if the goal is to run using the correct
form, driving the knees through the entire race. This performance goal ultimately gives the
person more control over his/her performance.
When possible set performance goals, not outcome goals. Make sure you set goals
over which you have as much control as possible. There is nothing more discouraging than
failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control. These could be bad
business environments, poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base
your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of
your goals and draw satisfaction from them. For example, you might achieve a personal
best time in a race, but still finish fifth as a result of poor judging decision. If you had set an
outcome goal of being in the top three, then this will be a defeat. If you set a performance
goal of achieving a particular time, then you will have achieved the goal and can draw
satisfaction and self-confidence from its achievement.
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