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Article > Goals Vs Outcomes

Article kindly provided by Duane Alley

So many people I hear talking about or even teaching anything in relation to achieving goals tend to use these words "goals" and "outcomes" interchangeably like they mean the same thing. I am adamant they don't.

When I'm working with Clients or Students I talk about both goals and outcomes as separate. Let me explain…

If you have ever done "board breaking" in a personal development course or the like, you know the one; where you write either your goals or obstacles on a board and then punch it to break through to your achievement or bust through what's holding you back… if not, believe me people do it - just like in martial arts demonstrations. The thing is, there are two ways to teach you to do it. One which would result in your hand getting broken and the right way.

I could teach you to aim to hit the board but what happens then is there isn't enough energy to carry through to board; rather when your fist stops at the board the energy will effectively rebound through your wrist probably breaking your knuckles and possibly breaking your wrist - NOT GOOD!

The other (and right) way is to aim BEYOND the board so that the energy carries you through to the other side.

In another Training Event we will run in 2012, called "The Inner Game of Everything" (a 5-day live in immersion), I am going to teach Goal Achievement through Archery (it goes beyond just the metaphor of "on target" though). In archery, if you aim at the "target" you'll most likely miss. You must aim above and beyond to hit the bulls-eye.

Finally, think of this - if you walked out onto the street of nearly any western country today and asked someone if they wanted to be rich they would most likely say, "Yes". And if you asked how rich the most common answer is, "a millionaire". This is interesting because if you then asked what does that mean they are not likely to give you an economic definition of millionaire but rather they would start describing "life-style symptoms".

Things like being able to travel, living in a great house, driving a beautiful car or having enough money to send their kids to the best school. This is not being a millionaire but rather they outcome they want the "millionaire status" for. It's not the millionaire thing they want at all but rather the OUTCOME.

Outcomes are what truly drive us and they come out of achieving out goals. Goals are just the necessary accomplishments along the way that lead us to the outcomes that we truly want.

How do you use this?

Start living beyond your GOALS ACHIEVEMENT and aim for the outcome - let the energy carry you through the goals.

Think of a goal you have right now.

Ask yourself what do I want this for? or

What will this create for me, my loved ones or what it is I care about most?

If the Outcomes you truly desire are not going to be created by these goals - time to examine the goals!

Here is another way to use this…

For the last 4 or 5 years I have taken myself away every year on a sort of a retreat to design my life for the new year. I usually do this in January once the "Christmas/Holiday Rush" is over and I can concentrate on where I am heading. It is the MOST IMPORTANT time of the year for me as the work I do then truly creates my destiny for the year and beyond. It's a pretty full on weekend, as you can imagine; I'll give you one of the really cool pieces though right now as it has a massive impact on my year and is directly related to Goals vs Outcomes...

One of the processes I take myself through during my couple of days away is to look at the life I want at the end of the next part of the journey (the coming year) and paint a vivid picture of this OUTCOME. I do this verbally as well as visually through a writing exercise and visioning work including vision boards etc. Then (and this is the important piece) - I begin to craft out the GOALS that will be achieved in order to make the OUTCOME inevitable. See, there is a big difference between just designing your future life and truly creating it to be your destiny.

Here's the work for you to do:

Write out a three page vivid word picture of your magnificent life in one years' time.

Do this by writing as if you were already there and you are writing about what you are grateful for in your life now (one year in the future).

Use tons of sensory words (see, hear, touch, feel, taste, smell) and jam pack it with all the emotion you can.

Then once you're done, get to work on the GOALS that will make this become a reality. I usually stick to "15 BIG ONES" at this stage of the game.

Make the "15 Big Ones" so big that if you only achieved half of them you would not only get your Outcome but you would also have the best year you've ever lived.

If you have any questions about this article or the exercises, please contact my office at

Green Lights and Full Cups everyday




Duane Alley


About the Author

Duane Alley
Speaker | Trainer | Author | Coach

Duane Alley spent the first 15 years of his professional life working with some of the biggest and fastest growing retail and franchise businesses in the country; he then spent 5 years as Head Trainer & Coach for one of the biggest Personal Development companies on the planet.

He has combined his extensive experience from the business world in delivering real world results with his success and study of personal development, rapid human change and shifting consciousness.

As a Master Trainer, Author, Speaker and Performance Coach he now works with businesses and entrepreneurs quickly and easily improve their businesses and make more money and with individuals, couples and families to make simple changes and take small steps to live better lives day by day.



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