“One of the problems with specifying your goals is specifying your failures.” -Jordan Peterson
As soon as we set specific goals- we are giving ourselves a clear metric for success or failure- which can be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective.
If you have a fixed mindset and don’t see any opportunity for growth then failure can be devastating- “see I’m not good enough, I can’t do it…”
If you have a growth oriented mindset you create the ability to see failure as a part of the process- okay- why did I fail? What went wrong? What can I learn from this so I can move closer to my goal?
Same outcome- failure- with very different takeaways depending on how you choose to look at it.
We can use two different types of goals in our goals setting process: outcome- and process-oriented goals both described in detail below.
Outcome oriented goals: describing the actual thing you want to achieve
It is very important to remember that outcome oriented goals are not necessarily under our control (where as process oriented goals- described below are 100%)
Examples of these types of goals are what you typically think of when you think of goal setting:
Snatch 185 pounds
Back squat 300 pounds
Run a sub 5:00 mile
Get your first strict pull up
Lose/ gain ‘x’ amount of weight
Process oriented goals: ways to quantify the consistency of your effort
In order to come up with examples, think about all of the things that you need to do consistently in order to accomplish your outcome-focused goal
Sleep at least 8 hours/ night
Hit macros consistently (depending on your goal, this might even be not tracking macros for a while)
Take supplements consistently
Remain focused during training (maybe put phone on airplane mode/ do not disturb/ etc)
Commit to 3 mobility sessions/ week
Commit to 3 accessory sessions/ week
Write/ read for 30 minutes/ day
Leave phone in another room during certain work hours
Make a daily list of tasks (time block day)
You can see the difference between the two types of goals and how- arguably- they are both important to forward progress.
In my opinion, outcome goals without process-oriented goals are relatively useless because you have no road map for yourself- you’re just saying- I’m going to do this thing… if you have a road map- and you don’t achieve your goal on your first attempt, then you have a map you can adjust so you can create a different path forward for next time. If you don’t have a road map- you might just think- see, I can’t do it (hello fixed mindset ) and give up.
I think outcome-oriented goals have a place, but personally I don’t place much stock in them. I have always had lots of performance anxiety, so I do much better by focusing on the task at hand day in and day out and allowing the outcome to be an expression of my work. If I don’t like the outcome, then I adjust the process for the next time.
Do you prefer outcome oriented or process oriented goals??
Let me know in the comments!