Setting Goals Doesn’t Work For Me

I’ve noticed that in both business and in life, it’s common to have to make decisions without all the information you need to know exactly what the outcome will be.

Annie Duke wrote a book called Thinking In Bets which is about making decisions when you don’t have all the facts. There’s one quote that was my major takeaway from the whole book.

What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process…

Annie Duke – Thinking In Bets

What’s A Good Process?

Suppose you want to pick a WordPress theme as your “go-to” theme, so you have a consistent platform for your work. It’s a good idea, but what if you don’t know which one to pick? This year, moving into 2023, I found myself in this very situation.

Or, maybe it’s a much more weighty decision about the direction to take your business. I found myself in this situation as well.

For picking our WordPress theme, it’s not realistic to become an expert working with every WordPress theme available. I don’t even have the time to try all the themes. So, I look at trends, read reviews, listen to feedback from leaders in the community, play with a few themes, etc. That narrows down the options. But, at some point, you just have to pick one and move forward. You don’t know for sure what the future holds, but you can at least trust that you made the best decision you could based on the sum of your knowledge derived from a good process.

What’s A Bad Process?

The problem that is very hard to overcome is giving up too soon. I often make commitments in five-year intervals. At a minimum, I commit to things for at least one year. Most of the people who I see struggling the most are also the people who have the hardest time committing to their process for long enough even to know if they’ll have a good outcome or not.

A bad process is constantly questioning your decisions and always chasing the next new thing.

I Don’t Set Goals

I don’t set goals, I make resolutions.

I think about the outcomes I want, but I don’t set the outcomes as my goals. Instead, I resolve to take a certain course of action without worrying about hitting a specific “goal.”

For example, I don’t set goals like:

  • Get 5,000 YouTube subscribers
  • Make $1 million dollars in 2023
  • Lose 20 pounds in less than six months
  • etc.

Instead, I think:

If I were a person who…

  • had 5,000 YouTube subscribers
  • made $1 million in a year
  • lost 20 pounds in less than six month

…what would I be doing?

Then, I commit to that process.

Why This Works For Me

I have found so much success in this, and I think it is for two reasons.

Taking Action

First, it gives me the day-to-day roadmap for what I need to be doing. It’s more important to me to know that I’m on the right path than it is to simply write down goals.

Far Less Anxiety

Second, it frees me from the stress and anxiety of not hitting my goals because you only fail if you give up. It’s sort of like buying stocks. You only lose money when you sell. If you’re not where you want to be, don’t sell out yet.

Before I made this mindset shift about goals, I’d set a goal, almost (but not quite) get there by the end of the year, then give up in a wave of massive disappointment because the digit at the end of the year flipped. That was so stupid, but that’s what I did. I felt like time ran out, and I lost. It was extremely deflating.

Focus On The Process

I have had radically more success in all areas of my life when I focus on the process without getting distracted by the short-term outcomes.

WordPress Theme For 2023

I’ve decided to double down on Kadence both for DoubleStack and for Blue Theory.

10 Reasons We Picked Kadence

  • Kadence is owned by iThemes and has a large community of YouTubers that share updates and awesome tutorials. So, I have confidence Kadence will be around for a long time and keep improving.
  • Active and growing Facebook group for Kadence.
  • Influential people including Adam Preiser of WPCrafter use and speak very highly of Kadence.
  • Gutenberg has become pretty good, especially with the additional blocks provided by Kadence Blocks.
  • I really like how easy it is to edit the header and footer
  • I LOVE the power of Kadence Hooked Elements. The power that gives you is totally awesome!
  • Kadence is very fast – both on the front end and the backend – since no page builder has to load
  • Kadence makes it easy to design custom post types, including custom designs for the archive template.
  • I like the development of marketing-related add-ons, including the recently released Kadence Conversions.
  • I am excited about the deep integration they have with LearnDash and their “Learning” Starter Templates for online course creators.

Blue Theory: Our New Community

Last November, we announced Blue Theory, our new DoubleStack community for people who want help landing clients but aren’t able to join DoubleStack, my small group mentoring program.

This is another one of those decisions where after looking at all the options, this just seemed like the right thing to do.

We’re kicking things off with a brand new video workshop where you can discover all the details of our most popular web design package. You’ll see exactly what we offer, how the pricing works, and even how we get clients.

Niche Mastery

Discover how to tap into the most profitable local markets without limiting yourself to a single industry.

Get the first DoubleStack module for free.
You can send me questions as we work on this together.