Making Your Fitness Goals a Reality
Every year, millions of people make the same resolution: to get fit and healthy. Each of us are at different levels of fitness and set our goals accordingly. Some of you are training for a marathon, while others want to get off of diabetes medication. No matter how dedicated you are, it can be hard to stick to your fitness goals, especially if they are outcome-focused rather than process-focused. Process goals allow for more flexibility and ensure you have the best chance of success. Let’s explore process goals and why they are so important.
What Are Process Goals?
Process goals are tasks that help you reach an outcome goal. For example, let’s say that your goal is to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year. This is an outcome goal – it describes where you want to be at the end of the year but doesn’t tell you how you will achieve it. To make sure that you stay on track and reach your goal, you would create a set of process goals such as “I will go for a 30-minute walk every day” or “I will replace sugar drinks with water”. These process goals give you clear steps to take each day and provide the structure that makes achieving your outcome goal much easier.
The Benefits Of Process Goals
Process goals come with many benefits, including increased motivation, better results, and fewer failures along the way. When you set outcome goals, you often focus on where you want to be at the end without considering what it takes to get there. This can lead to feelings of frustration or even failure when your progress isn’t as fast as you had hoped for or imagined. With process goals, however, you can focus on smaller successes along the way which helps you stay motivated and keeps you going until you reach your destination. This type of goal setting also lets you adjust your plan as needed so if something isn’t working out as planned (such as when life gets in the way), then you can easily adjust your process goals accordingly instead of abandoning them completely due to lack of progress.
How To Set Process Goals
When it comes to setting good goals, the first step is making sure they move you in the right direction. Decide on the outcome that you want to achieve. Once you have identified a goal, break it down into the processes that contribute to that eventual outcome. This will help you create a process goal that is measurable and reasonable.
Consider what skills or resources you need to make this process goal attainable and ensure that it is realistic. Maybe you need to schedule a set time each day for exercise; or proper shoes, etc.… It’s essential to set deadlines for each task and track your progress as you go. Celebrate your progress and reward yourself as you achieve your process goals in order to encourage your progress.
By setting measurable process goals and taking action towards them, you can stay balanced and on track to achieving your goal. With dedication and persistence, you can succeed in anything you set out to do!
How To Reset:
If you miss part of your process and find yourself failing, STOP! You control the step you take next. That is the beauty of process goals, you can succeed or fail each day, and that doesn’t hurt you the next day.
When my son was in 4th grade, he decided not to drink soda or sugary drinks. His brother often tried to trick him into betraying his decision. He was frequently tempted by convenience, peers, and the sweet taste, but as he succeeded with his commitment in each moment when faced with the decision, his resolve grew. Eventually, his desire to “not break the streak” was far stronger than any sugary temptation. If he ever did decide to have a soda, though, he could just focus on how he wanted to manage the next time he would be faced with the decision.
Process Goals Make Achieving Your Outcome Goal Easier Than Ever! Setting process goals is key for ensuring success when tackling any big task, such as getting fit and healthy or starting a new business venture. Focusing on small steps each day gives us a sense of accomplishment while also helping us stay motivated along the journey toward achieving our final outcomes. If your fitness resolutions have been failing in recent years, why not try setting some process goals this time? Take small steps each day and watch yourself succeed!
About the Author: Dr. Gabriel Cline, Ph.D. is a nationally recognized psychologist and author. He is on the State Committee of Psychologists, taught at several colleges and universities, and is the owner of Psych Associates in Springfield, MO.