GUEST POST INTRO:
I love having a husband that is just as passionate about health and fitness as me. I’m not alone in this and what is even better are those days where he looks at me and asks: “Hey Taylor, I’ve got a great idea for a blog post, would you mind if I wrote one for you?”
I love it not because he take control of the day’s post, but because he loves sharing his passion as much as I do.
And that my friends is why today’s post is brought to you by my hubs… Dan. Enjoy!
If you like it and find it as motivating I do, please show him some love (so that he might come back!).
I think about goals a lot. I’ve written my goals down a lot. I’ve lost them and rewrote them. I’ve changed them and wrote them down again.
I’ve learned a lot about goals through trial and error and I ALWAYS come back to the best advice I’ve ever received about goals…
…which I’ll tell you in just a minute. And this has everything to do with your weight loss, fitness, and nutrition goals.
Why Traditional Weight Loss Goals Are Dangerous
1. Your body is different
Your body is completely unique. While the scientific laws behind weight loss are the same for everybody, they don’t always act the same. Meaning because of genetics or other potential issues like hormones, you might lose weight faster or slower that what you expect to see.
Here’s the scenario: You set the goal to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks. It should be a simple goal to achieve with the right plan. But by the end of the 4 weeks, you’ve only lost 4 pounds.
- Maybe it was a really stressful month, more than normal.
- Maybe you have a hormone issue you don’t even know about. (statistic about thyroid issues)
- Maybe you lost 3 inches from your waist but because you actually built some lean muscle mass the scale is deceiving you.
The point is concentrating on a number is most likely going to set you up for failure. Your body is unique and it’s hard for you to even understand why it does the things it does.
2. One small mistake could cost you everything
This is a common issue for lots of people. I too have been caught in this trap. Here’s how it goes…
You have your workout schedule and you should be working out three times a week. Hypothetically, today is Monday, your workout day.
You’re super busy getting things done. Kicking butt at the office. When the time rolls around for your workout, you think to yourself, “Gosh, I am sooo busy. I can skip today. Get better organized for tomorrow. It’s no big deal because I can easily pick up tomorrow and not miss a beat with my workout plan.”
Tomorrow rolls around…
Again you’re really busy in your typical daily routine. Something happens out of blue that requires your immediate attention. You button down the hatches and get things under control, you’re a pro at these emergencies.
But you realize you missed your workout time. Rather than make time right now, you think to yourself, “Darn it! oh well. This isn’t a big deal. Today was supposed to be a rest day anyway. I’ll just start tomorrow. After all, Taylor said getting at least two workouts in a week will still help me hit my goals.”
Tomorrow rolls around…
Again you’re busy. This is your daily routine and you go through it without even thinking. Just checking things off your to-do list, impressing the boss, taking care of the kids. You’ve got it down.
But then that workout time rolls around. Today you’re just super exhausted. You think to yourself, “Yikes! I am beat today. What’s wrong with me? I don’t think I can workout. I just need to rest a little and get my energy back up. Next week I’ll start fresh. I’ll really give it my all starting next Monday. I promise!”
It’s the classic push back and before you know it, you’ve maybe worked out twice in two weeks. You won’t hit that weight loss number doing that. And seeing that you’re still far away from that number on the scale will make it harder to get back in the game.
After all, you’ve probably been checking it nearly every day anyway.
3. They add anxiety to what should be a fun process
Becoming healthier, stronger, and smaller should be an exciting process. Of course it will have it’s frustrating times, everything does.
But watching the scale can really make each morning a lottery. Case in point…
Taylor has a client that used to weigh herself every morning. She told the story about how the scale would dictate how happy or sad she would leave her house.
If the scale gave her a number she liked… she was pumped, happy, and ready for a great day.
If the scale gave her a number she didn’t like… she was sad, a little depressed, and moody going out for the day.
The funny thing is, this was before she was getting training with Taylor. She wasn’t working out or eating better… it was a complete lottery for her each morning. The scale had all the power.
It sounds ridiculous to let a hunk of plastic and metal dictate the way you feel. You might be progressing perfectly, but if it doesn’t match up with what you expected, you’ll feel really sad and maybe like a failure… like something is wrong with you.
That is just NOT the case!
The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received About Setting Goals
Here we go, the best advice I’ve ever gotten on setting goals. I wish I could remember exactly where I read about this, but for our purposes, that doesn’t really matter.
Stop setting outcome goals and only concentrate on performance goals.
An outcome goal is like losing 10 pounds. You concentrate on the number itself.
A performance goal focuses on the action(s) that lead to that result.
For example a great performance goal would be to eat a good breakfast every morning.
You judge your success by hitting those performance actions.
The Top Three Performance Goals For “Better Than You Can Imagine” Results
1. Workout three times a week
Set a goal for the next four weeks to workout three days each week. Don’t necessarily worry about the workout itself at this point or the scale or any of that.
Your goal is each week workout for three days. That is how you judge success.
This is much more concrete and manageable. You either workout three days a week or your don’t. Barring any catastrophic life happenings, there is nothing but yourself keeping you from hitting this goal.
2. Eliminate one trigger food a month
Another really great performance goal is getting rid of trigger foods. For lots of women this might be candy, chocolate, diet soda, or something sugary like that.
These trigger foods typically get your mind off track of what you should be eating and make it really easy to continue having small cheat snacks.
But if you’re goal is to eliminate just one trigger food for four weeks, then you know exactly what you have to do.
It’s concrete. It’s simple to do and you are 100% responsible for taking that particular action.
3. Write down the food you eat for one day each week
The last performance goal I want to mention is a huge one that can really help. Track everything you eat including calories for just one day each week for a month or two.
From a goal perspective, it’s simple to do because nothing really can get in the way. It’s concrete (I know I keep mentioning that, but it’s so key).
You will learn so much about the foods you eat and the amounts. You will surprise yourself with what you eat, how much you eat, or how little you actually eat.
(It’s amazing how much we think we know about ourselves, but in reality we don’t know much as all.)
It’s a great exercise and it can even become a little addicting to take this much control over your life.
Set Performance Goals And Your Waist Will Shrink Automatically
I hope you can see the difference between these types of goals.
There are hundreds of factors that affect the number on the scale. Defining success or failure by something that is so uncertain is dangerous. It will set you up for a crazy emotional ride that you just don’t have to take.
However, setting performance goals which are easy to track because their so concrete, sets you up for success. You know exactly what you have to get done and there is nothing but you in the way of accomplishing them.
The best part?
The right performance goals will automatically lead to immense weight loss and healthy results.
And typically, focusing on just performance goals will lead to much more dramatic and safer results that you want to see. The smaller stomach, the tighter body, and of course the number of the scale automatically going down.