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Are Certainl Goal Types Better than Others?

What goal types are best
Goal Setting

Are you in the process of defining goals for 2024? We most often think of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals but there is more to goal setting than that. It doesn’t matter what the goal is - there is science behind goal setting.  The science tells us which goal-setting types are better than others. 


The three best goal-setting types include:

1.   Outcome goals focus on a tangible and specific goal.  For example, losing a specified amount of weight in a specified amount of time.

2.   Performance goals focus on achieving a certain standard independent of others.  For example, you want to run at a certain pace. 

3.   Process goals focus on actions!  For example, include a certain number of vegetables in your meals daily.  Walk for 30 minutes a day. 


Even within these three types of goals, Process goals are best!  They focus on the things you do day in and day out.  If you follow the process, the outcome will come.  Versus just focusing on the outcome – weight loss – without any plan on how to do it.


Research also tells us that there is a similar amount of success with a super-specific goal versus a non-specific goal!  I was surprised to read this.  I had always thought the only way to success was with SMART goals.  After hearing this and learning the process goals are the best, this completely makes sense.  If you are consistent day in and day out on the things that will help you achieve the goal, whether it’s a SMART goal or a more un-specific goal like I will lose 10 pounds, they both work.  So don’t get hung up on whether you have all the details of the goal.  Both super-specific and non-specific goals are equally successful. 


The 3 “worst types of goals include:

1.   Mastery Goals – A task or learning goal for the sake of learning something better

2.   Outcome coals, specifically when compared or against someone else

3.   Ego Goals – These are typically performance avoidance or failure avoidance types of goals that aren’t productive at all. 


Now that we know Process Goals are most effective, the scientific literature tells us that a 7-step process is ideal.  For more information on what these 7 steps are, reach out and schedule a complimentary call to help you set and define a health goal that is important to you. 



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