Goal-Obsessed vs. Goal-Oriented


Being goal-oriented is always a good thing. Being goal-obsessed, on the other hand, is not.

If you’re hyper-focused on the end objective, then you’re not giving the process its fair share of attention. That lack of attention leads to subpar work, which could actually lead to you not reaching the goal you’re focusing on so diligently.

A project timeline should go like this. First, set the goal. Then, focus on performing the work that’s required to meet the goal.

And that’s it. You have to buy into the process. Once you do that, then your goal will take care of itself.

Focus on the Process

Setting goals for your company is critical to its growth. The real challenges to setting goals are making them attainable and establishing a best course of action for exactly how to reach them.

Once you’ve got that step of your project completed, let go of it. You know what the goal is, so there’s no reason to revisit it every hour!

The consequences of being goal-obsessed are ironic, to say the least.

The first consequence is that meeting your goal will take longer. Constant obsessing turns into a version of procrastination.

Another negative effect of goal fixation comes after you’ve achieved your objective. At the end of the process, you’re likely going to be exhausted from the constant fixation and micromanaging.

Finally, the biggest consequence of having tunnel vision is that your goal might not be met if you don’t take the time to tend to the project details. Looking at your goal too much will distract you from the actual process of achieving it.


We’re All Guilty

It’s happened to all of us. We allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the bigger picture and forget to take a project one step at a time.

For example, when it’s your job as owner or manager to come up with a one-year plan for your company by a certain date, or a five-year or ten-year plan, you stress out. That’s a totally natural reaction.

But when stress blinds you from sitting down and doing the work required to complete the company plan, it becomes a problem. And that lack of focus can negatively impact your business’ future.

A more productive approach would be to break up the project into sections and a timeline. Then, get to work.

We’re all guilty of being goal-obsessed at one time or another.

But rather than recognizing the problem and doing nothing, do something!

Set limits to how often you check on results or micromanage your own work.

Create a prioritized to-do list at the beginning of the week, and check your overall progress on Fridays. Or, download browser extensions that keep you on task for a certain period of time.

Keep your head down and work. Then once the work is completed, your goal will have taken care of itself.