Happy New Year!
2015 is here, along with the endless new years resolutions that come with it. January is a big month for many as it’s a time to reset the clock and start fresh, a time to dig deep and make some real, positive changes. Why is it then, that so many individuals fall off the wagon and find themselves back at square one come early spring? I’ll let you in on a little secret… it doesn’t have to do with the goals they’re setting, it has to do with the type of goals they’re setting.
We all know the importance of setting smaller, low to moderate expectation goals, allowing us to chug along with feelings of constant satisfaction as we creep slowly towards our bigger goals. Well, this isn’t much different than that. What we’re focusing on today is the ability to set goals based on our behavior (something we have 100% control of) versus setting goals based on a single outcome (something we have zero control over). Here are some examples of the two. An outcome based goal would be something such as striving to lose 50lbs by the end of the year. The loss of 50lbs is the outcome. Although this sounds great, technically, we don’t have any control over whether or not this happens. We can not control the rate of our metabolic functions or the rate at which our body oxidizes fatty tissue. Behavior based goals, however, are the best way to bring us as close as possible to the desired end result. Behavior based goals related to that single outcome would be something such as committing to training a minimum of three times per week with your trainer, committing to consuming X amount of water each day, or committing to eliminating grains and starches six out of seven days per week. All of these goals are easily attainable and are the behaviors needed to carry you to the outcome you desire. They’re small, attainable and yield low to moderate amounts of expectation.
This method applies to any type of goal. Strength, financial, social, you name it. Instead of setting a goal to squat 300lbs, commit to increasing your load by 2.5lbs-5lbs each week until you work up to 300lbs. Instead of setting a goal to have $2500 in your bank account, commit to putting away $50 each week. Instead of setting a goal to become more open minded, commit to 10 minutes of guided meditation each day and surrounding yourself with like minded people. Setting an outcome based goal leaves no guarantee that it will happen, provides no guidance and only one single experience of satisfaction, and that’s only if you happen to achieve it. Setting behavior based goals allows you to monitor your progress and have complete control over the end result. Plus, it provides you with constant motivation and satisfaction along the way.
Go ahead and set your behavior goals, stick to it and make 2015 your best year yet. Using this tip, you’ll accomplish more than you thought possible.