Like planting a seed in the fresh New York soil creates the bounty of the fall season, so does the achievement of a goal start with the smallest kernel of potential.
At RD, goals fall into 2 categories; process and outcome goals. Process goals are action steps. Outcome goals are “destinations” or achievements.
Start goal setting by determining your outcome goal then working backwards. Plot small process goals until you get all the way back to the first thing you have to do right now to start. It’s that Lao Tzo kind of thinking, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”
Once you’ve determined your outcome goal, set 2 process goals. One process goal will be focused on fitness, while the other is focused on nutrition or recovery. It’s easy to go 150% on a fitness or nutrition/recovery goal, while neglecting the other. This approach creates balance and we refer to this as the “Violet Coefficient.”
So let’s break this down:
Outcome goal: Lose 50 pounds.
Process Goals: Exercise: Come to the gym 2-3 times per week. Nutrition/Recovery: Come to one nutrition meeting in your first month.
Notice both process goals are meant to set a habit. When setting the process goals ask yourself, “Am I 90-100% confident I can accomplish this goal?” If you are, rock on! If that seems too daunting, for whatever reason, readjust the habit(s) to make it/them more achievable. You’re not “lowering the bar,” you’re setting yourself up to create a habit.
Remember, this process requires constant reevaluation. Don’t hesitate to talk to a coach when you feel stuck or unsure whether you’re on the right track. Progress isn’t linear. There are going to be setbacks and slow times. Get comfortable asking for help to reenforce you’re making the best choices to get the best outcome at that moment in time.