You Are Setting the Wrong Goals

It has been a couple months since many of us made our New Year’s resolutions. 

While New Years resolutions don’t necessarily need to be goals per say, many of them are. And since you are on a health, fitness and performance blog, some typical goals include:

“I want to lose 20 pounds of fat”

“I want to gain 2 inches on my biceps”

“I want to add 50 pounds to my bench press”

“I want to gain 6 inches on my vertical jump”

“I want to be more shredded than a julienne salad”



While these are the most common types of answers when I ask my athletes what their goals are, these are not the best types of goals to pursue.


Because these are what we refer to as “outcome based” goals. 

Outcome Based Goals

Outcome based goals have a definitive result as the end game. Its not that I think that having some outcome based goals is bad, its that I believe (or dare I say, I know) that if all we focus on is the result itself, it becomes very difficult to reach. 

I have seen this time and again.

This is because if all we are focused on is “losing 10 pounds” or “gaining 3 inches on a vertical jump” we do not take into consideration the process it takes to get there. And when we don’t take the process into consideration, the outcome is not as likely to be achieved…or it seems to take FOREVER!

So, what am I proposing?

Focus on Processed Based Goals

If an outcome based goal focuses on the result itself, a processed based goal focuses on the process…duh, right?

But another way to think about processed based goals are habit or activity based goals. 



For example, if your outcome based goal is to “lose 10 pounds of fat” your processed based goal may be to “eat a quality protein and veggie with each meal.” Or it may be to “train 4 times per week.” 

These kinds of goals are much easier to stay with as you can achieve them every single day.




And it is when you start to experience these small successes that you will want even more of them. Stacking these small processed based wins on top of each other will inevitably allow you to reach your outcome based goal. 

What To Do With This Information

Now don’t think that outcome based goals are bad, because they are not. They are just not what you want to focus on, especially if you do not already have A LOT of experience in the field of whatever your goal is. 

What you can do though is have an outcome based goal, and make it specific. Specific and REALISTIC. 

If the goal isn’t realistic (small enough to actually achieve, but big enough to motivate you), you will not stick with it. 

Its kind of like having the goal to date Megan Fox before you even tried asking out the cute girl in the office…not likely to happen. 



So it can be something like this:

“I want to lose 10 pounds of fat by August 1st”

Once you have your specific and realistic outcome based goal, it is now time to break it down into process based goals. For this example they may look something like this:

“I want to train 2-4 times per week”

“I want to walk the dog for 30-60 minutes every day”

“I want to have a breakfast that contains quality protein, veggies and fruit every single day”

“I want to drink only zero calorie beverages such as water, tea, coffee, etc.”

“I want to sleep 7-9 hours per night” or “I want to be in bed by 10pm every night”

“I want to prepare my meals on Sundays and Wednesdays for the week”


View this post on Instagram

Sunday is all about resting and recovering from the week, and getting prepped for the week ahead. This weeks big meal, and what will be lunch for the week is a taco rice dish. ➡️ Two pounds of beef, 1 green and 1 red pepper, 1 medium onion, 30oz diced tomatoes, two small cans sliced black olives and 1.5 cups of rice. 🎯 Brown your beef and set aside. Sauté your chopped peppers and onions. Add in tomatoes and olives and 1.5 cups water. Stir in rice and bring to a boil and let cook for 15-20 minutes or until rice is done (you may have to add more water). Stir in 1-2 packets of taco seasoning and the beef and let sit for 5-10 minutes. 👍 Enjoy and pack up the leftovers for the week! #foodprepsunday #foodprep #protein #veggie #healthyfood #healthylunch #healthyeating #delicious #fit #youarewhatyoueat #athlete #athletes #theathleticway

A post shared by Kyle Arsenault (@the.athletic.way) on


These are just a few of the processed based goals you can set in order to help you achieve the outcome based goal of “losing 10 pounds of fat.”

This same method can be used for any goal including muscle gain, strength gain, athletic performance, recovery, etc. 

All you have to do is:

  1. Set a specific and realistic outcome based goal
  2. Set specific and realistic process based goals
  3. Enjoy the small wins every day/week and recognize the compounding benefits
  4. Set new process based goals once your original goals are now part of your lifestyle/routine

Set Better Goals to Achieve Them!

So now it is your turn to write down your outcome based goals and then break them down into process based goals. If you need help with this just ask!

Enjoy the success you will experience, and never again encounter the feeling of difficulty and failure that comes with chasing outcome based goals without process based goals. 

Like what you just read? Think it can help someone out? Pass it along…thanks!

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