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Outcome Vs. Behavior Oriented Goals

If we want to be successful in life it’s very important to set goals. I think we all intuitively know this.

Today I want to talk about the type of goals that we set.

Are your goals outcome oriented or behavior oriented?

What do I mean?

Let me give you an example.

My wife and I just bought a new house.  We decided several years ago when we had two children 15 months apart that we would probably want a bigger house sooner then later.  There were two ways we could approach it.  We could’ve said, ‘Ok, we want to save x amount of dollar by this date.’  That’s a typical goal right? Put the big number down, chunk it down, then save whatever amount we needed every month to hit that goal.  It’s not a bad way to go.  This is called an outcome oriented goal.  This goal would probably get us there, but it would require lots of pain and discipline because every month we’d have to set aside what we wanted to save etc.

Instead my wife and I chose behavior oriented goals.  First off, we looked at the behaviors that cost us alot of money.  For us one of the major things were going out to eat. We like to eat at restaurants and would typically end up eating out 3-4 times a week, especially on the weekends.  Friday dinner was out.  Saturday lunch and dinner were out, and sometimes Sunday after church was out as well.  We realized after having two children that adds up very quickly to wasted money.  So the first behavior we committed to was only eating out on Saturday dinner. Sometimes we do lunch but very rarely. This in and of itself made a difference in a couple hundred bucks a month.

Then we made the biggest behavior change.  We set up our savings account to auto draft our savings goal on the first of the month. So every month we automatically took 15% of what we normally take home and put it into savings. Then we ran our entire home on what we had left after bills were paid. This practice paid off huge dividends for us.

After 36 months of doing this, we had enough money to make a down payment on our new home.

Now let’s bring it back full circle. The point of telling you all this is that fitness goals could be set up the same way.

You can set a goal of losing 6 inches off my waist in 3 months and then strive to achieve it. That’s an outcome goal.


You can set a goal of I’m going to go to CFB four times a week for 6 months. I’m going to push my desserts to Saturdays, and go for a daily walk three times a week.

Which goal will set you for quicker more sustainable success?

Exactly!  The outcome focused goal will help you be more successful.

I would take a look at your goals right now. Are they outcome or behavior oriented? If they are outcome oriented what can you change to make them behavior oriented?

I’d love to hear your comments below!

April 7th, 2015 WOD


L- Sit/ HSHold

60s cum

10 x 6s


Planche/ Lever progressions

60s cumulative hold 10 x 6s


60 second Hollow position hold

Met Con: 

Ring dips x 5

Burpees x 5

Squat Clean x 5 (touch and go weight)

AMRAP 12 minutes

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