Process or Results: Which Is More Important for Your Goals?

Both, using this iterative cycle from the 1930s

4 min readJan 17, 2022


Young coiled tendril growing in a tight spiral on a small tree
Photo by Nekhil R on Unsplash

It’s January, so that means every other podcaster has released an episode on How to Set Goals and Win in the last few weeks. And, adding to advice that will only work for the minority already dedicated to goal-setting and goal-getting, is the debate between Process and Results.

In this corner, we have Hal “Trust the Process” Elrod. No matter what, stick the process and you will ultimately have success. And in the other corner, it’s Benjamin “Only Results Matter” Hardy. Ahem. PhD. If you’re not getting results, ditch the process now.

I’ve listened to and used their guidance over the years. They are each joined by several other writers, talkers, and coaches. So neither is an outlier in the behavior change space. And both have achieved a level of success, so neither is incorrect. But if you’re just getting started on an improvement journey, in which camp will you pitch your tent?

So which is it? Process or Result?

If you’re just starting on a new path, such as exercise with a goal of toning up or changing eating habits with a goal of losing some weight, you will be changing your routine practices. That will require a new process. If you’re like me, instant gratification takes too long. I’d like to see validation within one week for the sacrifice to have been worthwhile to begin and to continue on. If that doesn’t happen, do I ditch the process and return to channel surfing? Short of abandoning the goal entirely, how do we know if we need to trust the process (stay the course) or bail because we didn’t get the result?

First, of course, examine the validity of the process. If my process is to go from two fast food meals a day down to one, there may be progress eventually, but it will be slow. The process has to be in line with the goal and expectations. Similarly, if I start making six sales calls a day instead of three, it could be a while before larger commission checks roll in. It’s possible a change in script rather than more calls with same ineffective one could be the change that turns the success factor around.




Jesus, Recovery, Grace. Finding My Manageable through experimenting, upcycling, and course-correcting with the Harada Method.