Am I Setting a Goal or Making a Decision?

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

Neagle Code Question

What’s the difference between setting a goal and making a decision? I’m struggling with differentiating the two in my mind.

For example, let’s say I want to get up at 6:00 am and take a cold shower. That’s a decision, right?

But then I have a goal that I want to make $X amount of dollars. That’s a goal, right? Can you clarify the distinction of where it breaks from being a decision to just setting a goal?

Neagle Code Answer

They’re both part of each other.

When you set a goal, you need to figure out, “What do I need to do to reach that goal?”

The decision is about, “I’m going to accomplish this goal, and I’m making a decision to do it, based on cause and effect of what needs to be done to reach that goal.”

First you set the goal.
Then you make a decision to reach that goal.

From there, figure out what actions you need to commit to, in order to reach the goal.

Here’s an example. If I sat down with my CEO, Steph, and said, “Hey, let’s set a goal to make an extra million this year…” we’d sit down and reverse-engineer what that would look like.

  • How do we want to make that money?
  • What do we want to do?
  • What are you and I going to commit to?
  • Do we need to hire someone?
  • What needs to be done?
  • For how long?
  • On what days?

We’d break it down into activities—all the way down to the smallest details.

Set the goal, make a decision to reach the goal, brainstorm how to get there, then commit to taking those actions.

Commitments are just decisions along the way.

If you don’t chunk your goal down into specific activities, then you haven’t really set the goal. You haven’t made a decision.

You have to turn the goal into activities that are based on cause and effect. What is the cause of this goal that you want?

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