Process-Oriented Goals by Coach Rob
When 99% of us are asked to set goals, they tend to be something similar to “I want to squat 300 pounds” or “get my first muscle up”. The issue with setting goals like this is they focus on an outcome – something outside the individual’s control.
Let’s say, however, we just achieved an outcome based goal, i.e. you just got your first strict HSPU. Did you take the time to reflect on the process required to achieve this goal? Was this goal the result of coming into the gym consistently 3-5 times per week, doing the accessory work in open gym including different scaling options and eccentric portions of the movement? Often times, the process is overlooked.
As athletes we need to shift our focus and set goals for the things we can control and everything else will fall into place. Process-oriented goals can be basic and more achievable on a day-to-day basis. For instance, maybe I am trying to achieve my first muscle up. By coming into the gym every day and jumping onto the rings and attempting to do a muscle up – I am failing to recognize the process. On the other hand, if I set process-oriented goals such as:
Practice muscle up progression 3x per week
Perform sets of rings dips and ring face pulls 2-3x per week
Hit my macro-nutrients each day
Sleep 7-8 hours per night
I am able to control the things I know I can achieve every day and ultimately lead to achieving my long-term goal of getting my first muscle up but will have more far-reaching benefits. By shifting my focus from performing my first muscle up to doing all these other things I can do well each and every day, I developed great habits and also a stronger appreciation for reaching my long term goal of performing a muscle up because I understand the process required.
Nutrition related goals are no different than our fitness related goals. Instead of having the mindset of wanting to lose X number of pounds or be leaner, I can set process-oriented goals of planning my meals out for the week that might include 3 meals and 2 snacks per day with each meal focusing on my proteins and vegetables. Also, having a refillable water bottle with me throughout the day to make sure I am staying properly hydrated. By continually setting and achieving our process-oriented goals, our outcome based goals of losing weight or getting leaner now become the byproduct of the things I do well and achieve every day.
I think all of us are guilty of sometimes putting too much pressure on ourselves to achieve a specific outcome. We all need to control the things we are able to control. Setting process-oriented goals helps us to do this and leads to the long term outcomes we originally set for ourselves.