I was listening to a Barbell Shrugged podcast and they reinforced something I’ve heard elsewhere. Maybe you’ve heard it as well. It is about Goal Setting. They say “Habits before Outcomes”.
Outcomes to Avoid:
“I will lose 10 pounds in January”
“I will bench press 200 pounds”
“I will run a marathon”
Instead, develop better habits that help you achieve your desires.
Habits to Develop:
“Half of my healthy dinner plate will be colorful vegetables”
“Every Saturday, I’ll work up to my best set of 5 reps on the bench press”
“I will run at least one loop around the park after work each day”
It is admirable to set a goal and then tell everyone. You want to be accountable to your goals, right? Wrong! I don’t mean completely wrong. But, psychologically, if you announce that you want to squat 400 pounds, then you’ll get your praise from others before ever accomplishing the goal. You may never reach that goal. Instead, keep it to yourself and set your daily habits. You can celebrate after you accomplish your mission.
Take baby steps. Don’t do something completely out of reach. Sure, maybe your next habits will be bigger. But if you’ve never run a mile, maybe don’t think about a marathon just yet. Instead, say that you will run a mile every other day. Once that becomes easy, you’ll be straining at the bit for more. Then you are ready to take the next baby step. Make it easier on yourself and accomplish small things first. In yoga, they say, don’t worry about doing a long practice each day. Just get on your mat and meditate for 5 minutes. That may be your practice. Or maybe its doing a sun salutation. You may do one and stop. Or you may do one and end up adding 4 more. Make your habits achievable.
“Habits before Outcomes”