I’m sure by now you have all heard of SMART goals. I 100% believe in their effectiveness, and this is not the only blog I will mention them in. However, today they are not our focus. Today I want to focus on process and product goals, and how setting both will help keep you successful AND encouraged!
Most people tend to set product goals. These are something to achieve and represents change in a measurable variable (like weight-loss, a certain amount of weight lifted, a consistent lower level of bad cholesterol, etc). These are great goals to set (and you should use the SMART goal formula for them!) but often times these can take a long while to achieve.
To keep you from getting discouraged as you watch your scale patiently (*cough*) waiting for it to go down, you should set some process goals to keep you motivated along the way. A process goal focuses on something you accomplish. For those of you who like to make lists and cross things off, this type of goal setting will be your equivalent to heaven on earth! (That being said, am I the only person who writes tasks I’ve already accomplished on my list just so I can cross them off?)
Your process goals will vary depending on your level of fitness, but examples could be going on a 20 minute walk without stopping, running for 10 minutes straight, doing a Fit Tutor strength training workout 3 days a week, or trying one new healthy recipe a week. The list could range from food preparation, food logging, checking in with your accountability partner, saying positive things over yourself as you get ready in the morning- the possibilities are endless!
How to Set Effective Process Goals
It’s important to set a time limit for these goals. I enjoy weekly or monthly goals, or some could be daily. Make sure you have a deadline for your goal so you know if you have met it or not! Keep your product goals in mind and think about what you need to do to lose ____ pounds or reach your new squat goal. Think of your process goals as steps to get to your product goal. Like 2 + 2 = 4, working out three times per week + stopping before full at 90% of meals = losing five pounds.
Don’t set yourself up for failure. I personally don’t enjoy running that much, and last year I set a goal to run a 5k (in the winter, I might add, and I gave myself only a few weeks to train). Probably not my brightest idea ever! I got a cold, had to do all my training on a treadmill, and ended up walking it with a friend. That goal wasn’t impossible- but for me it wasn’t the best process goal. You know yourself better than anyone else (well, probably..!) so you should know what goals are doable and what ones aren’t. That being said, you still want to push yourself just slightly beyond your limits! Attainable but challenging! If you set a really challenging goal for yourself, enlist someone to keep you accountable!
Some of my process goals:
- 2 mile dog walk 3-4x week.
- 3 strength + 3 cardio workouts a week.
- Plan weekly meals every Sunday night.
- Set aside a few hours to read 1 day a week.
What are some ideas you have for your own process goals? Go ahead and leave them as comments (nothing too personal if you don’t feel comfortable), and go out and START this week!
If you’re not sure, feel lost, or are sick of starting and stopping workouts or diets, we now offer a nutrition course to teach you how to eat right. There are built in, easy to use habit charts to help you set and keep track of your goals and achievements, as well as accountability and fat blasting at-home workouts for a cheap price (only $11.99/mo!). Start a free trial today and see if we’re a good fit for you!
You can do it!