Setting a goal is easy enough: “Lose 20 pounds by March 1” sounds great. If you follow something like the SMART framework, that simple goal essentially checks all of the boxes.
While losing 20 pounds might be the goal, setting that goal really means that you’re committing to a process. This likely means eating less and moving more, consistently, for a period of time.
As Imogen Roy would say:
Effective goals aren’t based on the end result; they are commitments to the process.
Wanting to lose 20 pounds is a fine goal to have, but it’s worthless if it doesn’t cause you to kick off a process to help achieve it.
Or maybe your goal is to “Read at least one book per month for the next year“. Again, that’s a great goal, but the process is key. Among other things, you now need to find appropriate books that interest you and set aside dedicated time to read on a regular basis.
In both cases, the goal is a nice thing to reach for, but the process is the magic. That’s where you learn to be healthy, develop better learning habits, or improve your life in some other way.
The process is the goal.