Are Your Fitness Goals Sabotaging Your Results?


Setting the right kind of fitness goal sets you up for success or failure and frustration. I believe that setting the right kind of fitness goal can make the difference between ultimate success or failure. This goes beyond the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting that everyone knows, but it’s also much more simple than that as well. I believe it comes down to the type of goal that leads to you reaching your fitness goals.

I break it down into process and outcome goals.

Outcome Goals

After writing yesterdays blog I got thinking a lot about fitness goal setting. I would bet that 95-99% of our senior fitness clients come in the first time and say they want to lose weight and they know exactly how many pounds they want to lose and to weight. It’s mystical how that number is derived.

I always ask this person what they plan to do once they reach said ‘mystical’ number. This question almost always catches them off-guard.

 I ask it because I think we get too caught up in these outcome goals (end-result). For instance, “I want to look like this”, or “I want to fit into these pants again”, or what have you. While all types of goals are not bad, I think it misses the point. It wasn’t the one-time buffet dinner that caused the problem, or the 1 week you didn’t exercise, it was the little things done or not done over time for sometimes years that got you there.

The safest and most fun way to reach your fitness goals (whether it’s to lose and keep the weight off, or being able to play with your grandkids) is to create a process goal.

Process Goals

A process goal is one in which you focus on the joy of the journey not about the destination. For example, while an outcome goal would be to lose 10 lbs, a process goal would be to learn a new activity/sport and engage in it 2 times/week for the foreseeable future. Process goals focus on what action is needed day in and day out to reach your outcome goal.

I think we intuitively do this. We start with the outcome goal and break down the parts to achieve said goal. But the problem still lies in your focus still being on the outcome. We need to shift the focus and emphasize the process, because the process will get us there. The process will also still be around long after you’ve reached your goal. I’ve found that once you take the stress off of having an outcome goal and start making fitness-related process goals, you have more fun, you create a healthy lifestyle and reach your fitness goals and more-because you aren’t caught up on one specific number.

Your homework: Reevaluate your current fitness goals and see if you can’t modify them to be process goals. Post your successes. 🙂

P.S. If you’d like more tips and help on creating a process-based goal, check out this resource.

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