Time and time again trainers have heard the famous phrase "I want to lose weight" uttered from people that have tried tons of different weight loss methods which have not worked or have only worked for a short period of time. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two types of goals you want to set your sights on in order to develop an effective plan of action for weight loss.
The two types of goals that can either help or hinder your weight loss efforts include:
Outcome goals - An outcome goal focuses on an end result. For example, you might have said "I want to lose 25 pounds." Or perhaps you mentioned that you want to weigh 125 pounds.
Performance goals - A performance goal outlines the process or action taken in an effort to lose weight. A diffinitive performance goal is " I will go to my Gravity class and train for 45 minutes," or "I will eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day."
Performance goals can help you achieve your outcome goals. However, setting outcome goals without performance goals leaves little room for success. Your outcome goals need to go hand-and-hand with your performance goals in order to take the necessary steps to see a desired result.
If you are trying to lose weight you do not need an outcome goal. If you follow through with your weight lose plan of action, the outcome goal will eventually come to be all on its own. However, aiming for a specific weight or target helps with motivation and could help you stay on track.
Set your performance goals first. Write them down on a piece of paper. Keep them in your purse, wallet, gym bag, taped on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Remind yourself everyday that if you consistantly achieve your performance goals you will soon benefit from reaching your outcome goal.
Reference: Hensrud et al (2010). The Mayo Clinic Diet. Good Books. Intercourse, PA.