December 2013 Newsletter #2: Behavioral Goals -vs- Outcome Goals

For many years in a row, I did a Diet for the Turkey Challenge. Other priorities took me away from doing that this year, but I must say; I really missed it this year. The concept of Diet for the Turkey was for people to write about their story and what their diet consists of and how they stay motivated through the holidays. I found it to be personally motivating, and many others did too. The reason I make mention of this is that what the challenge offered was a glimpse into someone’s life who was working toward a fitness goal. To be able to connect long distance with others that were staying the course, is of great value.

I think staying the course is the biggest challenge during the holidays. We are inundated with holiday snacks and treats and people all around us are indulging.  This can leave us feeling isolated and alone. This season, I want to express to you that you are not alone. Think about your goal, whatever it is, and realize that there are so many women out there sitting at a Christmas dinner table, or a cocktail party watching as others feed their faces, feeling isolated and alone. Are you the only one striving toward a fitness goal? Are you the only one sneaking out to your car to eat chicken out of your cooler? Are you the only one who is getting stares and comments from family members because they are “worried” about you because you won’t eat just one cookie? Of course not.

Think about all of those women out there, who are in the same situation as you and let them be your muse this holiday. It is important for us to know that we are not alone. And so when you are feeling alone, tap into the thought process that considers, there are so many women out there staying the course with focus and commitment to their goals.

Behavioral Goals vs. Outcome Goals

In an effort to help you realize that this fitness community is like one big happy family, I want to discuss with you goals in a very different way. A way that I think will help you stay true to the thought process of someone committed to their goal. Much of our time is spent on outcome goals. We look up pictures of women that inspire us, make vision boards, collages, and motivational quotes. We do this for the purpose of achieving a goal. Maybe it is to step on stage and compete, maybe it is to lean out and fit in a dress size from long ago, maybe it is for better health and optimal functioning. These goals are all outcome goals. And outcome goals are important. They are the driving force of our behaviors.

But there is a type of goal that gets over looked. That is our behavioral goals. Since our behaviors are what allow us to achieve our goals, how we behave is extremely important. Whether or not we pack our food, go to the gym, and make smart choices throughout the day has a direct effect on whether our outcome goals are actually realistic or if they are merely wishes that one day we will behave in a way that will drive us forward to achieve them.

Will one cookie make it to where you won’t reach your goal 3 months from now? Of course not, but the behavior of passing up the cookie is a message to your unconscious mind that you are committed to your goal. The behavior of passing up the cookie strengthens your will power muscle, making it increasingly easier to say no thank you to foods that are not part of your goal. Every time your behavior is in line with your goal, it brings you one step closer to achieving it.

This holiday, I want to encourage you to remember your behaviors are important. What you do when no-one is looking matters to your future self. You say you have a goal, now is the time to behave in a way that shows you are serious.

So, if you are on board with what I have said so far, this newsletter will fuel your fire toward your goal. If your behaviors do not match in a way that will get you to your outcome goals, it is time to set up some behavioral goals. So let’s do it.

  1. What behaviors are you currently doing that are not in line with your fitness goals?
  2. List and commit to 5 new behaviors that you can implement immediately that will move you toward your goal.
  3. Email or tell an encouraging friend your commitment.
  4. Post your new behaviors in a prominent place where you will see them.
  5. Take action.

We are all in this together. Every one of us with a fitness goal. Happy holidays! Let’s all stay fit and dedicated to what is in our hearts.

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