The Right Kinds of Goals Guarantee Your Success
New Year’s resolutions fail 80% of the time, with the majority of resolutions dropped by the end of February. The data regarding crash dieting is even more discouraging. Some studies suggest that up to 95% of people who lose a fast ~20 pounds gain the weight back within a year.
The majority of people do not succeed at achieving their goals or resolutions. But it is not that people are lazy or uncommitted. We all have things we want to work on; self improvement or health oriented changes we’d like to make. The biggest mistake we see people make with goal-setting is a lack of actionable steps. Without concise actionable steps to take, commitment to the goal is almost impossible outside of just stressing about it.
Step one to setting a goal or resolution that you can achieve is to ask yourself this question: Am I truly ready, willing, and able to make this change now?
Does achieving this goal excite you? Are you dying to get going? Act on that motivation now. Motivation can be a fleeting feeling. Taking action immediately can start a positive feedback loop that boosts your chances of success.
Outcomes, Process, and Behaviors
We set goals because we desire a specific outcome. But participation does not guarantee accomplishment. Make sure you’re setting goals that are trackable and actionable.
We like a tiered approach with goals, specifically outlining a desired outcome and then outlining smaller, process oriented goals that aid in yielding success. We also try to recognize certain behaviors that may be limiting our ability to achieve our larger goals and correct those first.
An Outcome Goal is usually the finish line. It is any goal that has the ultimate desired outcome as the target. People almost always start with outcome goals, but struggle to turn these to action steps they can stick to. Yet, there’s one big problem with outcome goals: Often we can’t control the outcome.
“My goal is to get below X bodyfat in 2020.”
“I want to deadlift 3x my bodyweight.”
The problem is sometimes real life happens. There are many factors out of your control. Your job could become more demanding. Or maybe you get sick and have to take time away from activities. You could get hurt or find out you have a thyroid disorder.
Both of the example goals also lack any call to action. They lack trackable metrics that you could look at daily and say “I took another step toward my goal.”
Once you have your desired outcome, shift your focus to things you can control: Behaviors.
“I’m going to eat to 80% full.”
“I’ll make appointments for at least three workouts a week.”
There’s nothing wrong with desired outcomes. In fact, they’re perfect starting points. But we also want to pick goals that give us the best chance at positive change. You may not be able to guarantee an outcome, but you can control what you do.
Once we understand what it is we want, we can work backwards to strategize behavioral and process oriented goals to give you the power to make change.
Behavioral goals center around a behavior we can focus on and improve. They will help you create new habits that set you up for long term success and ultimately achieve larger goals. These are often some of the best goals to start with. Some easy examples may involve using a daily planner, improving workout consistency, sleep ritual and habits, or even improving a relationship by sticking to a weekly date night or no-screens night (Put down your damn phone!).
Here’s some tips to help fine-tune your process goals:
- Be specific – Go to bed earlier is vague and doesn’t give you a specific task to adhere to. Instead, choose something that will help going to bed earlier. No electronics after 8 pm or brushing my teeth by 9:30 pm is not only a specific goal, but helps build out your sleep ritual.
- Stick with it – Don’t add more until you feel you have close to a 100% success rate. Remember, DO NOT QUIT just because you miss a day here or there. Everyday is a new slate. All or nothing mindsets kill goals/resolutions more than almost any other variable.
- Think it through – Be detail oriented.
“I will get better at meal prepping” actually means “I will change how I grocery shop, learn to use a slow/pressure cooker, learn new recipes, eat more protein and plan my meals for a week.”
That can be daunting. Instead, scale things back and focus on one thing at a time with the intention of improving the big picture.
Lastly, process goals help us work backwards from the intended outcome. Move on to process goals once you’re confident that your behaviors aren’t roadblocks. Process goals are generally smaller tasks to accomplish that help you achieve your larger outcome goals.
For example, maybe you want to get jacked or super lean – Your workout plan and consistency would both be important parts of the process. Your process goal might be to not miss a workout or to schedule every workout for the week or month.
On a related note, our environment shapes us as much as we shape our environment. Sometimes part of the process is reshaping our environment to set us up for success. Clean out your fridge, surround yourself with goal-oriented people, etc.
Most importantly, the task is done or it isn’t. There’s no gray area.
Here’s some tips for picking valuable process goals:
- Make goals trackable – There must be clear and trackable elements to your process goals so you can gauge your success. If a goal is too vague, your results will suffer. You must be able to say “I did or did not do X today.”
- “Trim the fat” – Don’t dance around the issues, be honest with yourself. Pick something that will directly lead to accomplishing the big picture goal. Scaling back should not be procrastinating. Go after what you want!
- The Mental Side – Mindset goals work too, and you can turn them into process goals by adding an action. Some people hate eating in the morning but need to get more nutrients daily. Hating breakfast is a story that you can change. Work to reframe your mindset regarding breakfast by finding options you like and look forward to. Creating a positive correlation is a VERY strong tool.
- Add don’t subtract – This is related to nutrition, but we like the idea of adding instead of subtracting. If I were to say “No more ice cream” you’ll spend too much time thinking about the ice cream you can’t have. Instead, add a goal like “I’ll get all the recommended vegetable servings everyday” and see if you even want the ice cream anymore. You may surprise yourself with the results.
We’re Here to Help
It’s important to understand we’re not trying to diminish the outcomes you desire. We’re trying to help you take action and work towards your goals. I’ve seen a lot of people interpret this information as outcome goals are bad or stupid and that’s not true. We all have aspirations and goals, and fortune favors the bold. Be bold and take action. Feeling lost or not sure where to start? That’s what we’re here for. We’re not here to hand you the outcome, you still have to earn it. But we can help! Hit us up today and let’s get the ball rolling.
The best way to see if REVO is a good fit for you is to stop by and see the facility. We’ll give you a tour and learn more about what you’re looking for. If after meeting us and having your questions answered you decide to give us a try, we’ll set you up with a 30-day trial at a reduced rate. That means no contract and no commitment.Sign Up Now