One of the hardest things to do in fitness is to set a goal. Why? Because most of us really aren’t sure what we want as far as goals go. Do we want to be leaner? Yeah, sure. Do we want to be stronger? Sure. Do we want to be more athletic? Well, who wouldn’t? Do we always want to do the things necessary like changing our nutrition to attain these goals? Well…
But what if you do have a definitive goal in mind? What if that goal is something that will play out in a way that will lead you to becoming your best version of self? Then what? How do we go about it? We’ve all probably heard of the SMART acronym for goal setting right?
A- Agreed Upon (read clear on the objective)
T- Time sensitive
All that stuff is great, but we need to look a layer deeper with our goal setting. All too often we are result oriented. Meaning, we judge our daily success by a result. The problem is that the actual result is often outside of our control. I want to say that one more time for clarity… the result is often out of our control. Unfortunately you cannot control the speed at which you gain muscle. Your body and it’s own biological processes determine that. You cannot control how fast your strength improves. Your body and it’s own biological processes determine that. You cannot control how fast your body utilizes stored body fat. You know where I’m heading with this right? Your body and it’s own biological processes determine that.
You see, when we are attempting to make changes in our weight or body composition, changes are often taking place below the surface. They are changing in places that we can’t always see. It’s kind of like watching a fertilized chicken egg. From the outside, an observer watching the egg would tell you that nothing is happening while inside the egg there are intense chemical reactions that are leading to the formation of a living being. Yet if you stand there and stare at it everyday, you won’t see a thing, even if all the conditions are right. You’re keeping the egg at the right temperature and all the environmental factors are right, it’s still an egg. Until one day it isn’t.
And sometimes, you can stand there and stare at the scale and it’s not doing anything. Even if all the conditions are right. You’re eating in such a way that will support weight loss. You’re treating your weekends as someone that is serious about changing their body and not letting indulgences, liquid or otherwise, derail you. And it’s not changing. Until one day it does. Trust me if all the “conditions” are right, you will eventually see results. That egg will eventually crack. You just don’t get to control when.
Soooo…. if you’re tracking with me here what I am saying is that we should not focus on the result. What we should focus on is the process. Because THAT is something you can control. You CAN control how many adult beverages you have on the weekend. You CAN control how often you eat things that won’t support your goal. You CAN control how many workouts you get in over the course of a week. Honestly, this is what we should be tracking as well. If weight loss is your goal for instance, tracking your weight is helpful but not every day. Weekly at most I think. Instead, track your macros through a myfitnesspal app or write your food down in a nutrition log. Track the number of workouts you get in over the course of December. Track the amount of sleep you get. Track the things that you can directly control.
There is so much less frustration to deal with when you become process oriented instead of result oriented. And yes, I know. We all get into this because we are seeking a result. But for if you go too far down the rabbit hole here, you ultimately end up trying to figure out your “why”. And I can guarantee you that your real, honest, heart-of-hearts “why” is not to lose weight or look good in a bikini. Especially if you’re a dude but I digress…
Your “why” will almost always be tied to a vision of yourself that you have in your head that may not quite match up to the person that greets you in the bathroom mirror every time you brush your teeth in the morning. And how do we become that person that fits the vision we have in our heads? We start acting in a manner that’s congruent with the way the person in that vision acts. We start to adopt their habits. We adopt their daily rituals, their processes. I feel like that was a “drop the mic” moment. Pretty sure that I’ll scare my wife and daughter if I get up and drop the laptop (that I am typing from) on the floor and leave the room so I won’t do that.
But I hope this makes sense to everyone. I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from their goals if you have one. Not trying to pull you off of a course you may be dead set on. I just want to make you think. I just want you to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And I want to help you set yourself up for success. So yes, stay goal oriented, but be dedicated to the process. That will lead you to success. Have a great day.