Four critical types of goals and one big mistake. On Goals: Part 3.

There are a lot of conversations on the types of goals that exist. In this article, we are going to talk briefly about types of goals in a way I have yet to find discussed.

When I did my search for goal types I was given things like financial, spiritual, emotional and the like. While those delineations are important, I want to shift our approach. I want us to take an approach on the types of goals that will allow us to build on each type.

First, the mistake.

I think the biggest mistake we can make is believing acquisition is a goal.

Acquiring things is not a goal, it is a reward.

Last year I had a goal of getting a Convertible Cheverlot Camaro 2LT in Nighthawk Grey with 5 spoke 20″ rims (not to be too specific). I learned a lot in my admiration for that goal. The primary thing was that it wasn’t as much of a goal as it was a reward of other goal types.

If you’re really interested, I will email you a guide on how to understand your acquisition goal and how to determine the alternate types of goals it supports. Just let me know by clicking here.

Four different types of goals

In my best estimation, there are four types of goals that we should understand. These four goal types are Habit, Achievement, Participation, and Production. #whatsthehapps

These four types of goals drive each other and exist in all of the categories we normally discuss. These are behavior driven and extremely rewarding.

Habit goal

I like the topic of habits. Maybe it is because I take a pretty minimalist approach and I’m a big fan of automation. Habits already drive our lives even without intention.

A habit goal is an intentional change in your automated behavior. You can design a habit goal like working out or saving money that will set you up for incredible success. A habit goal can also feed the other goal types I mentioned. It can lead to achievement, encourage participation, and ensure production. And if you are all about acquisition, a habit goal will certainly get you there.

Achievement goal

An achievement goal is notably different from the other three. Achievement seems like it may be closely related to acquisition but the effects are vastly different.

Achievement is encouraging. There is something special about knowing that you set out to accomplish something and you did it. The feeling that comes along with that will set you on a course to do even more. Achievement is a goal worth setting.

My goal to be published in the Huffington Post is an achievement goal. It brings with it a participation aspect as I become part of a community of authors. I also get the sense of validation because of the value I’ve placed on being published.

Participation goal

Why would participation be a goal? Participation brings community and collaboration. I mentioned in The Sharing Economy that community is paramount. My goals of getting published, doing speaking engagements and meeting influential people are all participation goals. Personally, my goal of running a 5k is a participation goal enabled by a habit goal. I want to be part of a community of runners because it will reinforce the habit of running. It becomes part of my lifestyle.

Participation acknowledges that it isn’t all about you. Once you have that understanding at the forefront you can start to identify benefits of your goals that don’t just reward you. I hope that my running a 5k at a snail’s pace while wanting to quit the entire way will also motivate someone else to do the same.

Production goal

Okay… so I want to publish articles on time, write a book, create a new series for the podcast, be featured on 10 other podcasts… these all require production. Have a goal to bring forth quality results or products is almost an automatic motivator. Why wouldn’t you be excited about doing something and doing it well? And then, be able to see the result of your hard work.

If pursuing a goal will change who you are, how much greater will you become by pursuing your very best production. By committing to doing and seeing.

Push but don’t shove

I mentioned how all of these goal types will enable or support the other goal types. Any time you create a goal that is behavior oriented that goal will create a push for other goals.

Here are a few more examples from the list of goals I shared with you in On Goals: Part 1.

  • Creating and publishing articles on time is a production goal that requires a habit.
  • Doing speaking engagements is a participation goal that requires production and habit (of public speaking). It also serves as an achievement goal because I must bring some level of quality to be considered as a speaker.
  • Creating a podcast series with guests is a production goal that requires participation.

So, What’s the HAPPs

Remember that we are talking about Habit, Achievement, Participation, and Production. An acquisition is not a goal; it is a reward. If you have goals that you identify as an acquisition goal I would love to help you break it down as a reward of other goal types. Let’s talk about it.

I really want to know where you stand on your goals in the comment section or on twitter; @rashadpleasant.

Next week we are really going to dive into some of the things that make up a goal in total with part 4 of this series.

Let’s be better; together.




I am Rashad. I'm an entrepreneur with over 15 years of cultivating relationships, chasing ideas, and over delivering on promises. I want to share some of the things I've learned along the way with you. Hopefully, it will inspire you to define and achieve your personal definition of success.