Last week I discussed motivation and finding your “why” behind your goals. In this post, I take some of my Precision Nutrition knowledge and talk about exploring and clarifying your goals before setting them. Being specific about your goals will help you create and execute a game plan to achieve them. It is important to differentiate between the two types of goals and weigh the tradeoffs.
First there are 2 main types of goals – outcome goals and behavior goals. An outcome goal is what you want to happen at the end of everything, and a behavior goal is what you must do to get this outcome. Outcomes are usually out of our control; however, our behavior is within our control. For example, we can’t control how quickly we can lose weight, but we can control what we eat and how much exercise we are doing.
- Shifting our focus to our behaviors, rather than the outcome, will help us change the actions we take to get to where we want to be. It’s about trusting the actions in the process. You can do this by:
Seeing what you can and cannot control. You can’t control the outcome, but you can control what you do to get there.
- Identify some specific behaviors that lead to your outcome. Let’s say you want to drink more water; a few behaviors could be having an alarm to remind you to drink more or start carrying a water bottle around.
- Choose one behavior and make it a goal. You can start with the easiest step. This will then become a lifestyle change that will lead you to your outcome.
Second, it’s also important to identify and explore the trade-offs of your goals. When it comes to setting goals, we want to be realistic as possible and understand what it really takes to get there. You might see someone with a low body fat percentage looking really lean but not realize the sacrifice and actions they took to get there. There are trade-offs to every goal. Knowing these trade-offs and what you are willing to do will help you execute them. You can ask yourself these questions.
- What do you want?
- What are you willing to do for that goal right now?
- What won’t you do for that goal right now?
After answering these questions, you may realize you don’t want to make certain trade-offs, and that’s okay! Start with what you can do now. Being realistic is key!
Exploring behavior vs. outcome goals and realizing the trade-offs will help you choose which steps to take towards your goal. I hope this information helps you set your goals and crush them!