Types of Goals

When people first start writing their goals, they tend to be focused on outcome goals. There are others to be aware of that make goal writing easier and more effective.

  • Outcome goals are about obtaining something (e.g. buy a car) or having something happen (such as graduate or get married). While outcome goals are perfectly useful, other goal types are as well.
  • Performance goals are goals to meet a performance standard through development of your capabilities. A performance goal could be something like read 16 pages per hour with better comprehension or run a mile in 6 minutes. These goals may have milestones to meet such as read ten pages per hour by the end of the month, that will help you track your progress. Note that these are not competitive goals against others, but goals you set for yourself or your team and are often based on improving an existing performance.
  • Process goals are goals to do something to help achieve your other goals, such as write a blog post every day. A process goal helps you develop the habits you need to meet other goals.
  • An experience goal is something as simple as ride a ferries wheel or live in an Asian culture. Some research says that people are happier when they accomplish experience goals than outcome goals.

As you write your goals, be open to all options.

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David Leasure

An innovator in online higher education, David Leasure has led online university programs, problem-based approaches to online learning, and competency-based education. He has served as provost at Western Governors University, Colorado Technical University and Jones International University. Leasure earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in computer science and was associate professor of computer science at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, where he turned his interests from artificial intelligence to teaching and learning with technology. Leasure led the creation of CTU Online, served as CTU’s doctoral chancellor, and president of Jones International University. His core belief is that all students can learn and his passion is helping them and their institutions succeed.


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