Well, you’ve had nearly a month to follow your New Year’s Resolutions… How are you doing so far?
My guess is that for somethings you just might be doing ok but if you are like most of us, you’re falling behind on many more.
That’s because the whole notion of New Year’s resolutions focuses on the wrong thing because most of the time – we try and control the outcomes.
What do I mean by that?
Simply that New Year’s resolution or ‘goal’ might be to lose say 50 pounds, 30 pounds, that last ten pounds. Or it might be to run 20 miles a week, or get your waist down to 32 inches or what ever size it is you would love to have.
You get the picture – those are all outcomes, places to get to and every time we set ourselves outcome based goals and targets we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Let’s say I set myself a simple goal to lose 50 pounds in say 12 months. So next January I get back on the scales and find I’ve lost 39 pounds. Many people would say I failed to achieve my goal and they would be right, and if I had an outcome-oriented mindset I would have to agree that I was 11 pounds short of my goal – I failed miserably. Even though I might have some great excuses such as stress at work causing me to comfort eat, or maybe I got an injury that meant I could not exercise for a few months at the end of the year.
You see we can’t predict what’s going to happen in our future and that is going to affect our planned outcomes so it’s simply too easy for outcome oriented goals to fail.
But if we change the thing we measure from being the outcome to being that of the process, this is much easier to manage and control.
So, in the case of losing 50 pounds that would mean not as you might expect to divide the goal into say weekly losses of one pound because that is still an outcome.
What it means is determining what ACTIONS I have to do in order to ensure I do everything I need to do so that I give myself the best chance of achieving that overall goal of a 50 pound fat loss.
These might be to…
– Ensure I keep my carb intakes below say 70 grams a day.
– Ensure I eat 3 different vegetables each day
– Make certain I have an average of 150 grams of fat each day
– Ensure I eat no more than 150 grams of protein
– Have fish once a week
– Exercise for 5 minutes a day
– Take the stairs every morning when I go into work. (obviously not all of them if you work on the 15th floor).
You get the picture.
Each of these are small ACTIONS and all of them ARE in my control.
I am controlling the process.
And in controlling the process I am ensuring I get the maximum chance of achieving my desired outcome.
And by making my goals to be the simple steps, the easy actions. I’m going to finish each day having achieved my goals and that means I’m going to feel a lot better about myself, and know I’m successful and that positive reinforcement will spill out into other areas of living creating a mindset based on positive experiences.
What could better then that?