Control the Goal
In health and fitness coaching we like to talk about goals.
One of the biggest mistakes people make though is setting all ‘outcome’ goals. These are things like, “I am going to lose 25kg”, “I am going to run 5km nonstop”, “I am going to be free of back pain”. While these are all good things to be aiming for, they have one thing in common. They are totally out of your control.
Let me explain.
Let’s look at the 25kg weight loss goal. You might be saying, “Hey I can control that by eating less and moving more!” You are on the right track but incorrect in your statement. The only things you can control on your way to achieving such a great thing are the steps or the objectives that you must complete to have a chance at reaching that milestone.
Everybody’s metabolism works differently. If you set yourself up to think that you can reach that outcome because you simply set it, then you are likely to get in trouble. What often happens is that you start to make some changes but don’t see the results as fast as you want or expect. This can lead to a loss of confidence and then the commitment and focus on the things you can control that you absolutely must keep doing to eventually have a favourable result.
So what we do with our clients is to certainly set the outcome as the place they want to get to, but then get on to the all-important actions – like the habit of regular movement, eating a healthy breakfast, drinking more water, taking omega 3 supplement in conjunction with a diet that is high in same. These are your process goals which, when checked off will eventually lead to the outcome goal.
This concept of ‘process’ versus ‘outcome’ goals explains the concept of what you can and can’t control and how what you concentrate on is critical. You have probably heard of ‘being in the zone’ in sport. This is the situation where the player is in such a focussed state that the complex movements become almost automatic. In this moment there is no fear of failure or questioning of action, there is just flow. This is the ultimate in letting go and trusting. The players who get into this state understand that they can’t control what their opponent does, only their own actions. There is freedom in that thought process and the chance for peak performance. Watch Roger Federer; he is a man who has made that type of focus his habit.
Think about how this might relate to you in your pursuit of a fitter and healthier life. If you feel your emotional eating holds you back, understand that your thoughts are something that you can harness control over with practice. If you agree that emotions don’t just happen and are the result of thoughts, then you my friend are back in control.
You might feel that you don’t have the confidence to make the changes and that successful health results happen to others and not you. Well start with what you see in the mirror, how you hold yourself, and start to fake it till you make it. It has been shown that how you hold yourself can actually start to change how you feel. Does it change your thought patterns? Probably. Stand in front of a mirror and slump. Observe how you feel. Then stand up tall and maybe put your chest out a little. Now what do you see, think and feel?
There are lots of little tricks like this. There is one thing that is certain, life is too short to waste your time with matters that are out of your hands. Get on to the things that you know you can attack and have an impact on. Remember – the little things add up and a little snowball can end up a massive avalanche of change!
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