What Are Controlled Goals vs Variable Goals? (& Why You Need Both)
When setting goals, it is important to have a range of different goals. Not too many or you will get overwhelmed but enough to keep you excited and wanting to move forward. There are two types of goals you can set yourself. Controlled Goals and Variable Goals. In this post, I am going to tell you what the difference is between them and the importance of having both to keep you motivated and excited to achieve amazing things.
So the difference between the two types of goals is that Controlled goals are something you have complete control over and Variable goals are something that you have no or very little control over.
Controlled goals are more action orientated and put a focus on the work that you have to put in consistently.
Variable goals are more result orientated so are the outcome of the work you have put in. I will explain more below.
These types of goals are ones that you make happen. They are actions.
So if your goal is to read 4 books a month. You have complete control over doing that. It is up to you how many books you read in that month and you know it is doable because you just have to do it.
They can be stepping stones that will ultimately lead to your final Variable goal or they can just be good habits or hobbies that you want to keep up like learning a musical instrument or a new language.
These keep us motivated and energized because they are in direct correlation with the work that we put in.
So if you are giving yourself a goal that is an action or a task that you must do then this will be a controlled goal.
These goals are going to be harder to hit but generally more rewarding once you get there.
Variable goals are like I said before, more results based.
So, for example, if your goal is to get 5,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel, that is a variable. You have very little control over this number. You can post a video every day and market it as much as possible (these could be your controlled goals) but at the end of the day you don't know when you will hit this, you just have to keep working hard until you do.
These types of goals can be frustrating because they are not always in correlation with the work that we put in. Sometimes we can work our butts off with very slow progress or other times we get lucky and reach it super quickly.
But ultimately these are the goals that we will get more excited about and strive for because they are our destination and what we envisage as being successful or just happy.
Why You Need Both
We need a mix of both of these types of goals because you want to be able to hold yourself accountable for your actions. You need to keep your good habits in check. But you also need to have an end goal in which you see the rewards of these smaller actions.
If you were only to have controlled goals, it would mean that you would not have a reason or a destination to get to by carrying out these good habits every day or week.
And if you only had a variable goal you could get frustrated about not reaching it fast enough and you might be forgetting to get into the habit of carrying out the work each day to get there.
If you are serious about your goals I would highly suggest thinking about your big Variable Goal and then create a couple of Controlled Goals that you can do every day, week and month that will help you get to your destination quicker.
Mix it up and get joy from achieving all of your dreams.
What controlled and variable goals are you going to be setting yourself?