Generally, when someone asks about their fitness goals, most people start with the outcome(s) they want:
-I want to lose 20 pounds.
-I want that thin-skinned, ripped look.
-I want to binge less often.
-I want to deadlift double my bodyweight.
Outcome goals describe our dream destination, which is fine, more than fine in fact as it is important to know where you want to go
But wanting something isn’t enough, no matter how badly you want it. Why?
We have no control over an outcome. Where we end up is a result of our behaviours, built up over time and it can also be affected by the environment too:
-Your job gets crazy busy.
-Your kid gets sick.
-Your mum with dementia needs help.
-Your hormones get out of whack.
-You develop a chronic illness like flu.
-Your stress levels go up.
-You’re having problems sleeping.
Having an outcome goal is like knowing where you want to go without taking the time to fill your car with fuel, read the directions or consider traffic and roadworks!
Outcomes are affected by lots of things you cannot control. So what is a better goal to aim for?
Take control of the things you can, your habits and behaviours.
Focus on the things you do have control over.
Behavior goals are a commitment to work on a set of actions consistently and regularly until you have mastered them.
So lets take the following outcome goal:
- “I will lose ten pounds in ten weeks.”
Although this goal is specific and measurable, outcomes are often beyond your control.
After all, you can’t wish your fat cells smaller and the scale does not go down through will alone.
So how can we make this goal better, how do we break it down into manageable steps?
Weight loss requires an energy deficit and a nutritious diets some example goals could be:
- I will exercise for at least five hours per week.
- I will eat slowly and pay more attention to my intake.
- I will eat vegetables with every meal.
- I will avoid alcohol this week.
These can be broken down even further if you wish:
- I will buy 5 different vegetables on a Monday and Thursday
- I will eat only at the dinner table and put my cutlery down between mouthfuls.
You get the idea. Identify the behaviours which are holding you back and commit to mastering only these. By doing this your outcome goal will take care of itself and before you know it you’ll be a lean mean dream achieving machine.
Want to give it a go?
Draw 3 columns. In column 1 write out all your outcome goals be it weight loss, finances or family. In column 2 choose one of these goals and try and identify all the behaviours you need to consistently perform to make this outcome a reality. IN column 3 break this behaviours down even further and choose 2-3 of these small behaviours to make your focus. Once they are mastered choose a couple more until you have reached your outcome.