Process Goals vs Performance Goals

This post is from my 12 Things I Learned from My Dogs

Process Goals vs Performance Goals: sometimes the best goals are not achieving xyz title by this date or taking 1st place at nationals.  The best goals are often small, very achievable, and a great way to find success. How long does this take to learn?  A LONG LONG time.  Especially if your heart beats for competition, and you just want to BE THE BEST.

That's where conflict starts, conflict with the dog we have, conflict with our training time, conflict with reality.  The reality is that we can't all be the best ALL THE TIME.  Even if you are the very best (way to be humble about it folks.)  So the push begins to accomplish performance goals: taking 1st at nationals, getting this title by that date, etc.  The problem with performance goals is they shouldn't be your only goals.  If performance goals are your only goals you'll set yourself and your dog up for failure.  

 Photo Credit Great Dane Photos

Photo Credit Great Dane Photos

Process Goals are one some of the coolest goals you can set for yourself and your dog.  They aren't about a destination.  They are about HOW YOU GET THERE. 

So for example, I want to achieve this performance goal: have a dog that can walk by any distraction.  Some process goals might be: practice turn 5 times today, go to a low stress/distraction environment, take the highest value treat for my dog, leave with a happy dog who isn't stressed, and smile at my dog while we are there. Small - achievable goals that can be met.  This way you and your dog aren't constantly failing to meet your big performance goal.

Process goals get you to where you want to go.  And research shows that you actually accomplish more and stay more satisfied with lots of smaller goals than the big dreams.  So make some process based goals, you may very well accomplish some performance goals along the way with a lot less pressure. <3