Goal setting can be a frustrating process for the majority of people, especially for people like me who happen to be perfectionists with incredibly high expectations. This approach of goal setting may not be the most conducive to achieving long term goals. In this blog we’ll discuss the difference between mastery and performance goals and why a majority of your goals should focus on one over the other.
Performance goals focus on the accomplishment of a task. This type of goal is the end result that the majority of people focus on. An example of a performance goal may be trying to do a handstand or cartwheel for someone looking to get into gymnastics or calisthenics. The main issue with only setting performance goals is that every instance this action is not achieved can feel like a major fail. Setting mastery goals instead will help you focus on the process of attaining such goals and also helps break down the smaller actions necessary to complete the bigger goal.
In Dr. John Berardi’s book, ‘Change Maker,’ he describes mastery goals as goals that focus on “ skill development and the intrinsic value of becoming excellent at something, or learning something deeply.” This changes the focus of your goals from being outcome-driven to action-driven. It also is a reminder that the larger the goal is, the more deconstruction is needed to achieve the goal. Large goals cannot be achieved overnight, and focusing on the mastery of the small tasks needed to achieve such goals can help you stay motivated and dedicated to the performance goal long term.
With the new year set, I urge you to focus on day-to-day, week-to-week actions rather than overall performance goals. Keep these performance goals in mind as they set the framework for what to accomplish, however, don’t get overwhelmed by how grand your performance goals are. Stay dedicated to the smaller, mastery goals every week and see what can be accomplished by the end of the year. You’ve got this! 🙂
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