By. Garrett Guzman
When it comes to goal setting, 90% of people only consider outcome goals. What are outcome goals? Outcome goals are specific goals with a desired outcome (and typically an end date) like “I want to lose 20 pounds by May 1st.” While outcome goals are not bad, in and of themselves, they are short-sighted and leave you with a management or even progression problem. In addition, they make it more about the destination than the travel. In other words, per the example above, it’s more about losing 20 pounds by May 1stat all costs (even if it damages your health/relationships/life), than it is about learning and practicing good habits that you can not only achieve your desired weight loss, but sustain or even continue on with that weight loss. Finally, if God-forbid you were unable to achieve this goal by said date (due to whatever obstacle or challenge you were faced with), you now view yourself as a total failure. Ugh! This is simply not the best avenue for long-term success . . . nor happiness.
So, if I want to set goals, what should I be doing? Ok, so using the example above regarding weight loss, what habits could I do that would help me achieve this desired weight loss? How about starting to focus more on my nutrition: Am I drinking enough water? Am I eating enough protein? Am I eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables? Am I eating too many processed foods? Am I drinking too much alcohol? Then, I could also focus on exercise: Am I performing resistance training at least three times per week? Am I getting in at least 10,000 steps per day? Next, I could focus on sleep and stress management: Am I getting at least eight hours of sleep consistently? Am I setting aside time for prayer or meditation daily? Am I constructively handling the stress in my life, or getting the help I need to do so? Now that you see the questions (just examples, you can create your own), you can see where this leads us. What habits can I focus on daily/weekly that will lead me to my desired weight loss goal? So, you see, we are still focusing on the weight loss goal, we are simply focusing on the HABITS that will help us achieve the weight loss and maintain or continue on with additional weight loss. And guess what? Not only will this assist us with our weight loss, but these habits will often assist us in greater overall health and happiness in every area of our life. Now, that’s a win-win!
What process goals, or positive habits, are you focusing on right now to better yourself?