Importance of process goals

Updated: Apr 29



In this post, I will discuss (with permission, names changed) how coaching has helped Ellie set up a profit-making online business. Ellie was made redundant in the middle of the first UK lockdown, fortunately, she had already started considering a career change and had been spending her evenings planning for this by completing an aromatherapy course. She came to me with a clear goal in mind, however was questioning if she wanted to achieve it as she was making no progress.


'I want to be successful in running an online aromatherapy business'.


We first looked at understanding the reasons behind her wanting to achieve this goal and its impact on her current and future life. This allowed Ellie to reevaluate that she was passionate about aromatherapy and could visualise herself working with oils in the future. Her lack of progress was due to feeling overwhelmed with everything she felt she needed to do and therefore struggling to focus and make decisions.


It was clear she needed to break down her goals into mini-goals. Her initial goal was a mixture of a Performance / Outcome goal, and she needed to create the Process goals to be successful. It was clear Ellie knew what she needed to do but had trouble prioritising which steps to start first, and was sometimes running before she could walk.


With agreement from Ellie, we started BACKWARD PLANNING. In the session Ellie explore the question;

  1. What does your online aromatherapy business look like?

  2. How do you know whether it has been successful?


Ellie was then given the following questions to consider and answer before our next conversation.

  1. What is the final milestone you needed to achieve for it to be successful?

  2. How did you achieve this final milestone?

  3. What did you need to do to achieve this final milestone?

  4. How did you achieve this?

It was explained that Ellie would need to keep working backwards until she had created mini-process goals that fed into achieving her goal of 'I want to be successful in running an online aromatherapy business'.


Many of you may be reading this thinking, that the goal is not SMARTer, you are right! However what would be the benefit of taking an already overwhelmed person and asking them to place a time-frame on their goal when they do not fully understand all the steps that are needed. The plan with Ellie is to develop her goal each session so that she has a clear action plan with an Umbrella SMARTer goal.