Most people start their fitness journeys out with a specific goal in mind. It’s usually along the lines of wanting to lose a certain amount of weight so they can feel better about themselves. Here’s the thing though – focusing on the results puts the cart before the horse.
Focus Your Energy on Changing Behaviors
Instead of setting results-oriented goals that look like this:
- I want to lose 10 pounds.
- I want to run an 8 minute mile.
- I want to look good in a bikini.
- I want to feel good about myself.
Try focusing on the behavioral changes that need to take place to reach those end results, and then set your goals accordingly. For example:
- I’m going to eat veggies in 3 of my meals each day this week.
- I’m going to work out 3 days this week.
- I’m going to have just 1 soda this week.
- I’m going to cut out artificial sweeteners.
- I’m going to strength train at least once this week.
Create Action Goals
Getting fit is about creating positive behavioral changes in your life. Change is what you’re after. Weight loss is the result. It makes sense to focus your attention on what’s going to get you those results.
You can control your behaviors and what you do, but the outcome is much less in your control. Had you eaten the perfect diet and exercised consistently for 10 weeks but didn’t reach your 10 pound weight loss goal, you might think you failed.
But if your goal was to exercise 3 days each week for 10 weeks, you succeeded, and the benefits to that success are numerous. And that exercise goal will be a key ingredient in eventually achieving your results goal.
Achieving Your Wants
It’s nice to have an idea of where you want to be at the “end” of your journey, but to make it there, you have to take action. It’s these small behavioral changes that will be the key to achieving your end result wants.
What are you going to do this week to bring you one step closer to your results? Set 1-2 action goals this week. Make them challenging, but make sure they are attainable. Maybe this week you just try to add veggies into one of your meals each day. Do you think you can do that? I think you can.
Make that your goal. Write it down. Revisit that goal at the end of the week, and if you reach it, cross it off the list. The next week, build on last week’s goal and try to get veggies in 3 of your meals each day.
Change is the Key
To become who you want to be, you have to change who you are. We do not lose 50 pounds while remaining the same person. Ask anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight, and they will tell you they are a completely different person. Most of them cannot even believe they used to live that past lifestyle.
The difference is they act and think differently now about the same situations they once encountered. They have rewired their brains to take new actions that lead to different outcomes. They have taken back control of their body and mind.
Change is hard. We don’t always get it right the first time. You might not get those three veggie meals in this week, but I guarantee you that if you keep trying at it, you will eventually nail it down and be able to cross that positive behavioral change off your list.
Focus on change, not the results. What actions are you going to take this week to change who you are?