Hi, everybody. Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness Personal Training Studio here, your Amarillo personal trainer. Today we’re talking about different types of goals, outcomes versus behavior. A lot of people don’t think about goals at all. Those who do think about goals just think about one type of goal. Also, quite frequently we make these huge lofty goals and when we fail to reach them, we get mad at ourselves for failing even though what really happened was just that we made the wrong goal, or we made the wrong steps to that goal.
So we have to understand that every goal that we set is not typically reachable in one step. It usually takes multiple steps to get there. Something, for instance, could be as easy as having your children learn to make their beds every day. If they go from not ever doing it and then you expect perfection for the whole week that you started this habit, you’re probably going to be pretty sad at the end of the week because it didn’t happen. So instead, what we want to do is we want to learn to build these habits over time.
For goals, a lot of people set those, especially at the first of the year. They set their New Year’s resolution or their New Year goals. For some, it can be very lofty and large goals. For others, it’s very practical. So we want to learn how to set our goals correctly and today is kind of just a brief overview of a few different things to think about that.
Why We Should Set Goals
So why would we want to set goals in the first place? Well, it’s always nice to have something to work towards. We all have goals, directions that we’re moving towards, or a path that we’re walking on. It’s just a matter of figuring what that is and writing it down. When you write it down, it just becomes more realistic. We’ve talked about brain dumping before. It is whenever we bring in all of our ideas that are in our head and we dump them down on a piece of paper, write it all out, then the list may not be as big as what you think in your head. This is the same idea with goals. If they’re in your head, they’re not really achievable because they can change at any moment. Whereas, if you write them down then you can have a solid set of guidelines that you’re reaching towards. We want to set those goals to keep ourselves motivated, determined and to keep focusing on the direction that we’re supposed to be; so that we don’t feel like we’re turning in circles all the time.
The two types of goals I want to discuss with you today are outcome goals and behavior goals. Many gyms, marketers, trainers and every other industry focuses on outcome goals. Outcomes are things like: wanting to lose 10 pounds, wanting to have a six pack or wanting to change your clothes size. Outcomes are the physical outcome of the goal. Those are great goals to have, I won’t tell you not to have outcome goals, but what I will tell you is there can be problem with outcome goals. I’ve had several people in the past who their goal, their outcome goal, is to be able to run a marathon. They train a long time for it and they’re very determined. Then, they run that marathon and when they’re done they feel lost. They did it, they accomplished their goal! Unfortunately, they didn’t have another goal in the way, kind of like the “next step”. They didn’t have another goal ready to accomplish.
The behaviors that they had done were just for that one outcome. They did the outcome and now they don’t know what to do. So they kind of get lost in the mix and they almost feel like they’re hibernating. I have a good friend who does triathlons and marathons and things like that, and they feel like hibernating sometimes. They just take months off of training because their one goal is reached. That happens a lot with these races, whether it be marathons, obstacle courses, triathlons, or whatever it may be. A lot of people just train so heavy and hard for those that, number one, they’re tired afterwards so they need some time off, but they mentally just don’t have the next step in mind.
That’s where behavior goals come in handy. A behavior goal is where instead of focusing just on the outcome, we’re focusing on building behaviors that will lead to that outcome. Here at Custom Fitness, we take your outcome goals and then we build it into behavior goals. Meaning that if you want to lose those 10 pounds, that’s great, but just saying “I want to lose 10 pounds” isn’t going to help you. Instead, we figure out that in order to lose 10 pounds maybe we need to, for this example, work out three times a week. So that’s one of our behaviors, learn to work out three times a week and that we need to be following our healthy eating plan maybe like 80% of the time. So that’s our next habit, we’re going to learn to follow that 80% of the time.
There’s different behaviors that build ourselves to being better and they lead to those outcome goals, but the best thing about the behavior goals is that they don’t stop there. If a behavior is to learn to exercise regularly and you’re training for a marathon while you’re doing that, that’s great. You run a marathon, that’s just part of it, but then you’re able to continue on training regularly for a lifetime because you’ve built that habit into what you’re doing. So the habits really overcome the outcomes, but the outcomes are necessary to keep us motivated short term. We kind of need a little bit of both, but we do want to make sure that we’re getting what we want out of that. So we’re actually reaching results rather than just floating through time and space.
Balance Is Key To Everything!
Again, we must find the perfect balance between the two because we do need both of them in order to make sure that we move forward. There’s not really one that’s better than the other, in the fact that, we need them both in order to feel accomplished. If you only work on behaviors and you have some sort of outcome goal in mind but you feel like you’re only working towards behaviors and those behaviors aren’t leading you to the outcome goal, then we have an issue. Again, that’s just what we do with our clients, is we talk them through how to create those goals. They help us understand what their goals are and then we help them break them down into outcomes and behaviors. Then we build habits to make this a lifestyle change, rather than just a moment in time.
Too often we’re doing these six-week challenges, or four-week challenges, or whatever, and they sound great. I mean, they’re cheap, they’re quick, we burn calories, we sweat, we feel good. We don’t really change and it’s not that you don’t see weight loss or that you don’t see muscle tone, but we don’t really change for life. If we don’t make this a lifestyle change, then we end up bouncing back. We may have looked darn good at the end of that challenge, but then six weeks, 12 weeks later, we’re back to where we started from. That becomes the biggest problem. As we build these behaviors into what we’re doing, then it becomes to where the challenge becomes our outcome. Maybe we do that just to incentive ourselves for a few weeks, but the behavior is still there that we’re building on and on and on and going forward.
If you would like some help working on your goal set or even figuring out how to do that in the first place, feel free to give us a call at 806-322-3188. We’d love to help you out with that, just sit down and see if we’re a good fit. Helping people with their goals and reaching their goals is what we do on a regular basis.
Hope you have a great day!