Why goal setting is more important than goal achieving

Peter Shepherd
1 min readJan 9, 2023

Jen Waldman recently reminded me that goal setting and goal achieving are two different things.

The former is all about creating a strategy.
The latter is a binary measurement of whether you did something.

The former can create habits that last beyond the goal itself.
The latter does not.

The former is within your control.
The latter is often not.

Wondering what a good goal-setting process looks like? Think of it as an exercise in probabilistic thinking (hello maths nerds) and ask yourself questions like:

  • What am I hoping to achieve?
  • How might I increase my chances of achieving this thing?
  • Who do I know that can help me?
  • What habits do I need to develop and/or drop in order for this goal to be achieved?

Your answers to the last three questions are more important than your answer to the first. These are the questions that will lead you down pathways you can’t currently see where you’ll discover opportunities you don’t realise exist.

Originally published at https://noodlescratchers.com on January 9, 2023.



Peter Shepherd

Pete is the Founder and Director of Human Periscope: helping others see things they can‘t by asking questions others aren’t. https://humanperiscope.com/