Goal setting is both an art and a science. Most people think that setting goals just means picking something you don’t have right now and going for it, but there’s more to it than that…
For the outcome?
Or for the behavioural change?
If you’re like 99% of the people who walk through the doors of Xcelerate Fitness Personal Training in Marlow then you would have of course chosen the first option: The Outcome.
When I ask people in an initial consultation how I can help them, the answers are always the same:
‘I just want to lose this *grabs belly*’
‘I just want to lose half a stone’
‘I just want to gain 5lbs of muscle’
These are the same reasons that most people partake in a fitness regime or hit the gym.
Much like saying to oneself that ‘I will make £70,000 next year’ the statement alone will not make it happen.
Yes the statement I guess can be classed as specific, and yes I guess it’s measurable. I am sure they are challenging enough, and with the right mind set and determination they probably attainable. (All the key pointers of any traditional goal setting model).
But much like the lesson my mother always taught me, ‘want doesn’t always mean GET’.
I don’t care if you have read ‘The Secret’ a million times and you are announcing to the universe on a daily basis your positive intentions of what you will achieve. To put it mildly, this is bollocks.
These statements and goals are outcomes, and outcomes are often beyond our control.
Forget The Outcome…For Now
As I am sure you will agree you can’t control your fat cells and their rate of fat metabolism by just hoping they’ll shrink. Again, cast your thoughts to the universe and try it. I guarantee you that you will look just the same this time next year.
So as you can see you may not have complete control over your goal then. Sucks right?
But that’s ok, because you do have ultimate control over something that will give you the same results if not better: Your Behaviour.
When taking on new clients I always focus on getting my clients to set both an outcome goal AND a behavioural goal. A behavioural goal is based on something you can directly control and do yourself whereas an outcome goal is based on the end product of a series of behaviours.
People often ask about my 100lb weight loss. They want to know where my mind was at, how I reacted in certain situations, what I did to keep my willpower up when times were tough, what was my inspiration etc etc.
The truth of the matter is that I actually got my life changing results without ever setting a goal. In June 2006 it never once crossed my mind that there was an end number I had to hit or a clothes size I had to achieve. I think in truth I was quite scared of even setting that because being the way I was at the time if I had said I just want to lose 2 stone, I probably would have stopped right there!
I instead put all of my energy and focus into making good decisions on a daily if not hourly basis. Good behavioural decisions that when made consistently over the days ,weeks and months would contribute positively to my overall goal of losing weight, looking great and feeling awesome.
- I made it my goal one week to do 60minutes of cycling every day
- I made it my goal one week to eat healthy at least with 90% compliance
- I made it my goal one week to stay the hell away from that goal destroying vending machine enticing me from the corner!
Seriously if it is one thing you take away from this article….tick your goals off, no matter how insignificant they may be. It is ALWAYS a great feeling and ALWAYS improves mood and motivation.
The big lesson I learnt was that if you make goals out of behaviours, behaviours you can control, your outcome goals (things like your body composition, salary, etc.) will fall right in line without you even having to worry about them.
Want to lose ten pounds in ten weeks? Then start by understanding what behaviours you can adopt immediately that’ll lead to this result. Make these behaviours your focus not the end result.
Here are a few examples:
- I will exercise for at least 5 hours per week
- I will eat 5 to 6 meals per day
- I will eat vegetables at every meal
- I will avoid drinking alcohol this week
So next time you are walk through the doors of your local gym or tie your trainers to go out for a run think of it as ticking off just one behaviour that you have set yourself that when repeated consistently over the days, weeks and months will ultimately contribute to your greater overall outcome goal.
That extra weight you are holding won’t just evaporate over night because you hit the gym or threw your hard earned cash at a personal trainer. Weight loss is a result of consistent positive behaviours repeated over a period of time.
It worked for me and it will for you too!
SET YOUR BEHAVIOURAL GOALS TODAY.
DO IT NOW!
Personal Trainer Marlow