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Goal Setting - Focus on the Process

As a Personal Trainer, when I meet with someone who wants to start changing his or her life for the better, the first question I ask is, “What are your goals?” I hear some really great goals -

  • Losing weight

  • Getting stronger

  • Running faster

  • Building muscle

  • Even just being healthier or mixing up their routine

I do my damnedest to plan and teach workouts that help work towards individuals’ specific goals.


Here I am going to discuss how we can dig a little deeper into these goals.  The goals listed here are awesome and they are what drive us to take action. These are known as “outcome goals” - what we wish to achieve in the end. Let's use the example of “lose 25lbs” as our outcome goal.  

There is another type of goal that we don’t discuss as often but is equally important. “Process goals” - these goals are about what you have to do to achieve the outcome goal.

For example, process goals might be:

  • Do a hard workout in the gym twice a week

  • Walk during lunch break every weekday

  • Eat 5 servings of vegetables every day

  • Drink a glass of water with every meal


These are the steps that will help push progress in the right direction.


Process goals put you in control, and help define the actions we should take.  You will get better results when process goals are the focus - that is, when we focus on checking the boxes everyday, taking the little steps that add up over time - it leads us to the right outcome.  But if we focus our attention always on the outcome “I want to lose X lbs” it can be overwhelming and discouraging. Shifting focus to process goals lets us achieve the goal everyday, instead of chasing the outcome goal and staring at the scale thinking, “Still not there yet?!?!” You can achieve your process goals every day, and every week! It feels a lot better to know that just getting to the gym to workout or getting outside to walk achieves your process goal, and that will help keep you motivated and consistent and ultimately you will achieve your outcome goals. Focus on the process and the results will come!

One place where you can implement process goals is with your eating habits. Whether your outcome goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or just general health, when the realities of our busy lives happen we can sometimes make less than perfect food choices. Creating process goals can help prevent these moments from catching us by surprise - make it a goal to prepare some healthy options in advance so when time is short it is easy to eat nutritious meals.  I personally am a “Sunday Ritual” guy - my goal is to have at least three or four days worth of healthy food options ready to go at the start the week. Figure out what process goal is going to set you up best for success and make it happen.


If you have any questions or want some help with goal setting, feel free to contact me at

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