Lets be honest, most people know what they need to do if they want to lose a little weight for the summer. Whilst they might need a trainer to show them the most effective way to get the best results in the long term, most people can and will lose weight if they eat a little bit more sensibly and train a little harder and more often.
However, there are a considerably large number of gym members who do train often and claim to eat sensibly who, month after month, just don’t seem to see any changes with their body composition.
Over the last decade i’ve trained a lot of people with a wide variety of goals, and have noticed that the thing which separates those who achieve great results from good results is the difference in their mindset. So for todays post, i thought i’d share a few key differences between the two which hopefully you’ll be able to apply to your own training and nutrition to help you achieve your goals.
BEHAVIOUR GOALS VS OUTCOME GOALS
Its hardly ground breaking news that in order to achieve your goals, you need to set some. However, its important that you set the right type of goal.
Generally speaking, you can divide goals into two different categories, outcome based goals and behaviour based goals. I’ve touched on this in a previous post here, so won’t delve too deep into it except to explain the main differences between the two.
An outcome goal is a goal based on the main outcome or objective that you want to achieve. For example,
- to lose 6kg
- to drop a dress size
- to build muscle
- to get a six pack
Whereas behaviour based goals are goals based on the behaviours needed to achieve the outcome goal. For example,
- go to the gym 4 times a week
- eat protein with every meal
- avoid caution carbs on non workout days
- drink more water etc.
The most significant difference between the two is that only one of these types of goals is within your direct control. Its important to accept that you have no control over how much weight you will lose, however you DO have DIRECT CONTROL over the actions you take to help you achieve your goal ie what you eat, how often you train and what you do in the gym.
If you are serious about improving your body composition, i’d highly suggest sitting down with an experienced trainer and ask them to suggest some behaviour based goals which will help you achieve your long term outcome goal.
PROACTIVE VS REACTIVE
One of the major key differences in the mindset of people who are successful in the gym is that they are proactive, not reactive.
In fact being proactive is actually the first of seven habits that Steve Covey highlights in his book ‘the 7 habits of highly effective people’.
Ever since i read this book, I’ve always liked his definition of proactivity. According to the book
“It means more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.”
Instead of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control ie what they eat, what they do in the gym.
Take a look at the word “responsibility”, it can also be viewed as “response-ability” as in you have the ability to choose your response.
Successful people recognise that although they can’t always control what happens, but they CAN control how they react. If you’re looking to get into better shape for this summer, instead of focusing on being overweight or unhappy with your current body composition, focus on what you can do to improve it, ie what you eat, how you train.
To quote Stephen Covey again….
“Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling”
If you take anything away from this post I hope its that although you can’t control everything, you are always in control of what you eat and how you train.
The first thing you need to do is be proactive. Being proactive is all about taking action and you can take action by sitting down with an experienced trainer and setting behaviour based goals.
Finally you need to take responsibility for those goals, life is unpredictable and things may happen that make it difficult for you to get to the gym or stick to your nutrition plan, but the difference between those who are successful and those who are not, is how they react to these obstacles.