Monday, August 27, 2007

Goal Setting

Goal: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed

Stop me if you know this one:

Effective goal setting must be SMART


I am sure you've been through this drill, so I won't bore you with all the details, but it is the difference between "I'd kinda like to lose some weight" and "I want to lose 12 lbs over the next three months." It makes goals setting more real.

In concept, I agree with it. "I'd kinda like to lose some weight" isn't a goal, it is an idea.

"I want to lose 18 lbs over the next twelve weeks" is a good target. It is an achievement.

The problem is, it doesn't take into account the action that is required. A goal without action is a fantasy, a day dream.

To hit the target, I believe goal setting is best structured around behavior rather than outcome.

Let's say that 2 people want the same outcome. We'll use the same example as before: lose 18lbs in 12 weeks.

Person A writes down the goal like this: "I want to lose 18 lbs over the next 12 weeks"

Person B writes: "I will complete a total of 48 workouts (4x per week) and eat according to my plan to 90% (by updating my food log daily) over the next 12 weeks"

Who do you think has a better chance?

Target the behavior, the outcome will follow naturally.

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