Outcome Based Goals vs. Behavior Based Goals

Feb 09, 2022

So you set some goals for 2022. Awesome!

What goals did you set? Are they outcome-based or behavior-based?

No clue?

Read on!

Typically, most people set outcome-based goals. These types of goals usually focus on the end results. They might be things like:

  • I want to deadlift my bodyweight.
  • I want to lose 10 pounds.
  • I want to fit into a size 6.

Pros of outcome based goals,

  • They are tangible and easy to measure.
  • They are familiar. Most common type of goal.
  • They are easier to notice. Meaning other people might see and comment on progress being made.

Cons of outcome-based goals,

  • They can shift the focus away from other improvements that will lead to long-term success.
  • They can be unrealistic
  • They often depend on things that are out of our control.
  • They can be overwhelming
  • They only focus on the end result, not on how to get there
  • They can lead to feelings of guilt, failure and shame

Behavior-based goals are goals that focus on what you might need to do in order to get a desired result. They might be things like:

  • Each week I will plan my meals so I can be more in control of what I’m eating.
  • I will set my clothes out to workout each night so that I’m more likely to get in my workout.
  • I will program deadlifts into my workout 2 times per week to improve my deadlift strength.

Pros of behavior-based goals,

  • They are more realistic
  • They help to identify specific steps that need to be taken in order to achieve a goal
  • They help to cultivate a positive mindset
  • They place emphasis on the actions needed to happen rather than the expectation
  • They teach skills and systems that will benefit you long after you’ve reached your goal
  • They put you in control of your actions

Cons of behavior-based goals,

  • Harder to think about because most are just used to creating outcome-based goals
  • Not as flashy as outcome-based goals sound

As you can see, the pros of behavior based goals FAR outweigh the cons!

Setting behavior-based goals can help you identify realistic ways to make small adjustments and improvements that will add up to BIG changes. Remember, sustainable results (whether physically or mentally) should be the main priority when striving to reach any goal!

Need help setting behavior-based goals and sticking with them? This is one thing we work on in my 1:1 coaching program - Four Phase System for Fat Loss. This is high touch, one-on-one coaching experience will take you through the crucial phases for sustainable fat loss. If you’re interested in learning more, add yourself to the waitlist here and my team will reach out soon! 


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