Sunday is a great day to look forward to the week and to set some awesome goals for ourselves that we know we can crush. Today I want to speak about turning our “outcome goals” into “behavior goals”.
When we speak about goals, we often start by defining the outcome. We say we want to lose 10 kilograms, or that we want to be able to run 5 kilometers. These are the results at the end of the process. There is nothing wrong with knowing what you want (and important to know why you want it), but you cannot just stop there.
The problem with “outcome goals” is that you can’t control outcomes: your job will get crazy, your children will get sick, the weather will be so cold that your salad dreams are simply not an option. However, you can control your response to these things and what you do. This is where the importance of “behavior goals” comes in – it is a commitment to a practice and to be as consistent as possible.
If your outcome goal is that you want a flat stomach, your behavior goal may possibly be to “begin eating meals slowly and mindfully”. This behavior will have a snowball effect, as it will have an impact on your awareness around food choices and knowing when you are full. This approach will help someone turn a goal to achieve a flat stomach (uncontrollable) into a beahviour goal of eating slowly and mindfully (controllable).
Start by defining the outcome you want to achieve. Write down a behavior or two that will help you to achieve that outcome. Then practice that behavior today, and tomorrow, and the next day.
Let’s look at some outcome goals turned into behavior goals:
Outcome: I want to go to gym at 5am every morning
Behaviour: I pack my bag in the evening for gym the next morning, and I go to bed at a set time every night.
Outcome: I want to run 5 kilometers
Behaviour: I will run 3 times a week, and I will follow a program that will build up running strength 3 times a week
Outcome:I will spend more time with my children
Behaviour: I will leave the office at 5pm sharp every day, and we will sit at the dinner table and talk every night
With this approach to goal setting there is a commitment to behave in a new way regardless of circumstance. If your job gets crazy, then maybe running 3 times in the week is not possible – however, when works calms down again, then the behavior can resume. It is important to also note where you make excuses for not following through on behavior. Write down the obstacles that may block your desired behavior, and write down two solutions for every obstacle. This way you will not be caught off guard when life gets in the way.
Outcome goal: Lose 10 kilograms
Behaviour goal: Only eat food that makes me feel healthy and well
Possible obstacle: When I get home from work I want to snack on sugary treats
Solutions to obstacle: Do not keep unhealthy food in my home, and eat a lunch that will keep me fuller for longer
I find that this way of setting goals is super effective. It is intense, yes, but we must be relentless in the persuit of our dreams if we want to make an impact!
Next week on Set for Success Sunday, we will chat about “avoid goals” vs “approach goals”.
Have a brilliant week. Set some goals and crush all of them. Lots of light and love xx