Competitive goals can lead to burnout. Michael Jordan who is a compulsive competitor, exhausted himself in continually reinventing new ways to spark the fire in his enthusiasm.
Destination goals, such as, “I’ll get to this particular place by x date” tend to be difficult to maintain since the reward exist in the non-existent future.
Process goals, are increments of cumulative experiences that instantly offer rewards in the present of now. For example, when I first started day trading, I made no attempt to make a lot of money immediately. My immediate goal was to learn market dynamics without suffering major financial losses.
I convinced myself that once I learned how to not loose money, probability favors my chances of starting to make money!.
This approach allowed me to (1) maintain my self-confidence, (2) stay in the game without capital blow-out, (3) develop a non-emotional response to rapid fire decision making, (4) handle small draw down with minimum psychological upheaval, (5) visualize the feeling that I will be doing this for the next 50 years, and (6) secure the knowledge that my journey was a life long commitment to learning.
I believe it is good to set smaller challenges that generate rewards in the present and not in the non-existant future and let the long term goal of consistence of profit flow naturally from a great set of process actions, such as system design, indicator design, system testing, placement of trades, etc.