top of page

You Can Achieve Your Resolutions - Just Embrace the Difference Between Goals vs. Steps

If your New Year's resolution seems to be slipping away from you, this message is especially relevant. It's common for people to set ambitious goals without a concrete plan (or steps) to achieve them. Imagine aiming to lose weight but not having a specific strategy in place.

Often, we set these high-reaching goals with the best intentions, but their grandeur can lead to a quick loss of motivation. The key to successful goal setting lies in starting with small, manageable steps that steadily guide you toward your intended target.

In the journey of personal and professional development, the terms 'goals' and 'steps' are often used interchangeably, yet they hold distinct meanings and functions. Allow me to delineate the differences between goals and steps, offering clarity on how each contributes to the path of achievement.

What are Goals?

Goals are the desired outcomes or destinations in personal or professional endeavors. They are the 'what' of your aspirations, defining what you ultimately want to achieve. Goals are typically broader and more overarching, providing a sense of direction and purpose.

Characteristics of Goals:

  1. Long-term Oriented: Goals often represent a future state you wish to reach, whether it's months or years down the line.

  2. Outcome-Focused: They emphasize the end result rather than the process of getting there.

  3. Aspirational: Goals are often ambitious, pushing you beyond your comfort zone.

  4. Measurable: Effective goals are clear and quantifiable, allowing you to gauge your progress.

What are Steps?

Steps, on the other hand, are the specific actions or tasks that move you toward achieving your goals. They are the 'how' of your journey, outlining the practical, tangible measures you need to take. Steps break down the overwhelming nature of goals into manageable chunks.

Characteristics of Steps:

  1. Short-term Oriented: Steps are immediate or near-future tasks that gradually lead to the accomplishment of a goal.

  2. Process-Focused: They concentrate on the actions required to reach the desired outcome.

  3. Practical: Steps are realistic and actionable, often forming a checklist or plan.

  4. Sequential: Steps are typically organized in a logical order, forming a pathway to the goal.

The Interplay Between Goals and Steps

The relationship between goals and steps is symbiotic. While goals provide the destination, steps are the roadmap. Without clearly defined goals, steps can become aimless and ineffective. Conversely, without actionable steps, goals remain distant and abstract.

Example 1: Fitness Journey

Goal: Run a marathon in six months.


  1. Research and select a training plan.

  2. Gradually increase your running distance each week.

  3. Incorporate strength and flexibility training.

  4. Participate in shorter races as preparation.

  5. Adjust diet for optimal performance.

In this example, the goal provides a clear target (running a marathon), while the steps outline the specific actions required to reach that target.

Example 2: Weight Loss Journey

Goal: Lose 20 pounds in six months.


  1. Consult with a nutritionist to develop a balanced meal plan.

  2. Establish a routine for regular physical exercise, including both cardio and strength training.

  3. Set weekly targets for gradual weight loss (e.g., 1-2 pounds per week).

  4. Keep a daily food and exercise journal for accountability.

  5. Regularly review and adjust dietary and exercise plans as needed for ongoing effectiveness.

In this example, you can start with something as simple as adding more vegetables or drinking fewer surgery drinks to your diet as a first step toward your goal.

The Wrap Up

Understanding the distinction between goals and steps is crucial in any endeavor. Goals give you a sense of direction and motivation, while steps are your action plan, guiding you on how to achieve those goals. By setting both clear goals and defined steps, you create a structured path toward success, turning your aspirations from mere visions into reality. Whether in personal growth, career advancement, or any other field, balancing your vision (goals) with practicality (steps) is the key to effective achievement.

If you need an accountability partner to help you achieve your goals, let's talk. Your motivation plus great coaching is the missing piece for you reaching your next elevation.

I Am Coach Kenn!



Single post: Blog_Single_Post_Widget
bottom of page