What is the difference between process goals and outcome goals?
A Process goal is focusing on the journey rather than necessarily the end result. An outcome ‘IS’ the end result.
In Relation to fitness, it is important to have both. In order for someone to achieve a goal their needs to be a process or a Journey to get you there. For example, someone who decides to run a marathon will need a training programme, possibly over the course of 3 or 4 months, whereby they will be aiming to increase mileage each week and begin including speed work sessions. Or a powerlifter training for a ‘Meet’ will have a programme that increases the numbers on the bar week by week, as the reps come down; they will possibly utilise different methods like paused or tempo reps or deficits etc. This will be so that they peak for competition.
The Training programme is the process that got them to their end goal or outcome.
What are the pros and cons of focusing on an outcome?
On the plus side, having a clear goal gives you a purpose and a direction to work towards. A lot of people go to the gym and just workout, which is fine, but they can often find themselves in the same position a year down the line and having not really made any progress. This is where working towards a specific goal is beneficial. The downside to being solely focused on outcome goals all the time is the feeling of failure if you don’t achieve what you set out to do. This pressure to achieve something can make it become unenjoyable.
What are the pros and cons to focusing on the process?
The good thing about focusing on the journey is that you learn to create daily habits. This is especially helpful to long term success with things such as weight control, because it takes repetitive daily habits to maintain a healthy body. Habits such as: general movement, cognitive restraint with food, and being in the habit of getting yourself to the gym consistently.
Another important factor to exercise that isn’t goal related is the feeling of endorphins released, or the ‘de-stressing’ aspect. Sometimes you may be more likely to train if you do what you feel like doing that day, as opposed to what’s written down on a spreadsheet. The downside to being process driven is that if you’re not working towards something, you may remain stagnant in your progress.
My Advice is to focus on both; Start off by thinking of a goal that is important to you, whether it be to lose weight for your wedding, hit a squat PB, run a 5k in a specific time or whatever it might be…
Once you have a goal in mind, then plan a route to getting there. Set a time line to achieve it by, make sure the goal is achievable and realistic in the first place, and make sure it is measurable so you can track progress.
Remember however, you don’t have to have goals to work towards all year round. Sometimes its ok, and actually good for your wellbeing to just workout for enjoyment.
Accountability can be vital when trying to achieve any goal in life, and along with expertise your chances are greatly improved. Contact us today for advice and guidance on your fitness goals: Contact PGPT