Mama K (CD5K)

Goal oriented or Process oriented?

Personality Café describes the two as:
“Process orientation” – The journey is more important than the destination.
“Goal orientation” – The destination is more important than the journey.

I did it! I blazed my trail of awesomeness today. I achieved a major goal that I’ve had for this year – 6.2 miles…I only did this because I have my first 10K race two weeks from now and I haven’t felt prepared or ready to step up to this next level. I typically run because I like the feeling that I have when I’m finished. I think there’s a lot of merit in the idea of sweating out the stress of the day. I also typically run because my friends do it, and I like spending time with them. It most certainly makes exercise more fun. So it got me thinking – am I a goal oriented runner or am I a process oriented runner? I’m sure this doesn’t matter at all, but it’s an interesting thought. I’m most certainly oriented in both ways in “real” life and I think there’s a natural balance of both throughout my day, so I suppose I am both when I run too. I found an article that talks a little about both, but an important statement was made: “Without a goal, there is no process. Once a goal is set, however, once you know where you’re going, you have to pay close attention to how you’re getting there….Goal oriented people are people who strive and fight and move for the sake of attaining a goal. Process oriented people will work towards their goal in such a way that in the process of attaining their goals, they stretch themselves and learn.”

Where am I going with this? I’m not sure, I think it was just a curious thought that I had while I was alone with myself for over an hour today. I love the natural conversation my body has with itself while I run, I love the way my mind just wanders from topic to topic, I love the freedom of tuning out the rest of the world, and I love when those certain runs happen where you can feel the growth. So I think I’m most definitely process oriented…But then again I need “scary races” to sign up for that will force me to create a plan and keep me on task…need the goals!

To finish this rambling thought – I think I’m very happy being both ways because it seems like both the journey and the destination will keep the sport interesting. But really I’d love to hear from you – Are you a goal oriented runner/exerciser or a process oriented runner/exerciser? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section!

– Mama K

8 thoughts on “Goal oriented or Process oriented?”

  1. When I first read this I thought “goal oriented without a doubt”. Then as I prepared to state my reasons why I completely changed my mind. Red flag number 1- i realized that I often start a run without a goal in mind. I think more about what music I am going to listen to than how far I am going to go which leads me to believe I am enjoying the process way more than I thought I was. In addition, as you know, I love to run in circles which also kind of makes the goal of finishing the lap a part of the process. Does that make any sense? Most importantly, I love meeting my mamas for a run!! I run farther when you all are around because the process becomes that much more special and I don’t want it to end! Thanks for giving me the motivation to get out and go!!


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