I wanted to take this blog post this week and talk about something important. It’s how to change your mindset of goals. I had talked about it in a previous Instagram post a few weeks back, but decided it was something to write about here on the blog. First let’s talk a little about the difference between goals and desired outcomes and then we’ll look at an example.
Goals vs Desired Outcomes
- A goal is something to achieve. Whether it’s a goal for a day, week, month or years, it’s something you can control and can accomplish.
- A desired outcome is the result of those goals that you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you can achieve them, other times you might have to change your desired outcome to be more realistic.
Let’s use the example of weight loss. To achieve weight loss there are many goals that have to be made for it to happen.
- Changing the way you eat
- Changing how much you eat
- Changing the places you go to eat
- Changing your grocery list
- Changing what you snack on
- Changing how you view food
- Changing your routine and having more time to exercise
- Changing your routine to have time to prepare healthy food
- Changing the foods you’d normally order
- Changing how many vegetables you eat per day
- Choosing different foods you might have been scared to try
- The list goes on…
Those are all goals you have control over and can conquer one by one and accomplish. These are the parts to focus on and rejoice when they are met! Changing your lifestyle, your choices, your routine, your habits – it is no small thing. So noticing that just because weight loss might be your desired outcome, it doesn’t mean that on the way there you are not reaching goals and accomplishing something. You are overcoming huge obstacles physically and mentally. That’s something to be proud of!
Minor Desired Outcomes or Small Victories
The other thing to remember, is that you might have an overall desired outcome to lose, let’s say 50 pounds. There are minor desired outcomes or small victories that are showing you that you are reaching your overall desired outcome.
- Your clothes fit different
- You have more energy throughout the day
- You’re sleeping better
- Your skin and hair look healthier
- You’re able to see your knuckles and wrists a little more
- Your knees are starting to look like knees again
- Your ankles don’t bloat as much
- You’re able to go down a notch in your belt loop
- You’re able to walk a little further
- You’re able to run a little faster
- And the list goes on…
Although it might take you longer to reach your overall desired outcome, never pass up the small victories you are reaching to get there. Those are huge steps and something that should be noticed! Give yourself credit and work with your body. Notice that it’s changing because of the original goals you had control over and your body is responding to it. Those small things to notice are huge!
Weight Loss Note
Your body loses weight starting from your extremities (feet and hands) to your middle (men – stomach, women – hips/thighs) and then starts all over again at the feet and hands. When you start losing weight if you are staring to see your feet and hands a little more, or your elbows and knees become more pronounced, or your face is a little thinner, it’s working. You might not see it in your desired places like your belly or hips, but it’s on it’s way there. Your body is doing its thing.
We live in a world that is fast and goal oriented. You want to get something done, you do it and it’s accomplished. You want to know the answer to something, you look it up and within seconds have the answer with a video to go with it. With nutrition and especially with weight loss we think we can do the same. “I want to lose 10 lbs this week, I’ll do whatever I have to do to get there!” Our mindset and the will to accomplish our goals isn’t the only thing that will get it done. Working hard and having a strong will is important, but our body has it’s pace and is working as hard as it can. Just because you don’t see things right away, doesn’t mean nothing is happening. Although you didn’t reach your desired outcome in the time frame you wanted it to happen, doesn’t mean it won’t happen or that you failed in some way.
You have to be balanced in knowing what you can do, what you have control over and let your body do the rest. When you feel discouraged remember the goals you’ve already achieved and the small victories you might already be seeing. Just because you don’t reach your desired outcome in your desired time, doesn’t mean you’ll never get there or that you’ve failed. Just because you might have been trying to reach a desired outcome and are exhausted trying to get there, you might need to ask yourself if it’s realistic. If the desired outcome is a source of stress or irritation for you – change it.
Don’t forget, the things to focus on are the goals – what you can control. Then giving attention and acknowledging the small victories that come with it that you notice as a result. Give credit to yourself for the things you personally accomplish. And keep things realistic. If you don’t meet a specific time and date, it doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish anything. Instead of having a date in mind to reach a specific desired outcome, how about have that as a “check in” with yourself to see where you are and to remember where you were before. Either way – whatever goal you have, don’t give up!