Set yourself up for success with outcome-based and process-based goals

Picture this: two football teams enter a stadium with the goal to win. In the end, only one team wins and the other loses. They both had the same goal yet only one was successful. It was the daily actions each team took leading up to the game, the systems they put into place, and their habits and behaviors that ultimately decided the outcome.

This concept holds true when it comes to health and fitness goals. Creating goals is a good starting place to help point you in the right direction, but your daily actions and behaviors over time will ultimately determine if you are successful or not. So we encourage establishing outcome-based goals like S.M.A.R.T. goals AND process-based goals to help you ultimately change your behavior over time.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

S – Specific – The goal should identify a specific action or event that will take place.

M – Measurable – The goal and its benefits should be quantifiable.

A – Achievable – The goal should be attainable given available resources.

R – Realistic – The goal should require you to stretch some, but allow the likelihood of success.

T – Timely – The goal should state the time period in which it will be accomplished.

In addition to S.M.A.R.T. goals – which are largely outcome-based – spend time developing process-based goals that you are more likely to have control over. Think through questions like, “What needs to occur each week and each day?” and “Of those things, what can be done within the next hour?” The purpose of these questions is to develop process-based goals.

Here are some process-based examples that could have a profound impact in reaching your health and fitness goals:

  • Plan ahead by logging all foods in MyFitnessPal (or any food tracking app) the night before and stick with just eating those foods the following day.

  • Get within +/- 100 calories and +/- 5 grams of macronutrient goals each day. Ask your trainer to explain your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) from your InBody test to help inform this.

  • Attend 3 workouts per week. Commit to this by blocking and guarding this time on your calendar.

  • Drink 100 ounces of water a day.

  • Eat meals without any electronic distractions (TV, iPad, computer, phone, etc). Mindless eating could lead to overconsumption.

  • If possible, use a food scale to weigh and measure all foods while at home.

  • Turn off all electronics 30 minutes before bed and read a book or journal, instead, to help improve sleep quality and quantity.

  • Set out your exercise clothes the night before. Pro tip: Simply putting on your workout clothes can help boost motivation for yourself.

  • Bring a lunch to work that has over 30g of protein.

  • Strive for at least 10,000 steps each day.

  • Go for a 5-minute walk, 4 times a week.

  • Eat 5 cups/servings of vegetables a day. Consider consuming some of these servings in liquid form if that helps, but be mindful of the amount of sugar in the juice.

Talk with your Trainer to work through what is being done right and what can be improved. Be careful not to take on too much at once. Behavior-change researchers have claimed that many people who try to make just one behavior change are 80% more likely to succeed compared to the 35% who attempt 2 behavior changes at once. So start with just one impactful habit – write it down and tell people about it to develop a support network, but also look ahead and create a plan for any missteps. Once you’ve mastered on process based goal, add in the next. Small steps forward still move you forward!

Assess along the way, make tweaks and small changes, and then put it into action. Before you know it you will arrive at your goal, celebrate your progress, and then be able to determine what you’d like to accomplish next!

Set your goals, develop process to change behavior and then CRUSH those goals! Then share on social when you do it – you deserve all the digital high-fives!

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