When it comes to shedding pounds/getting into shape, the way you think can be your best asset (or your biggest setback).
Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship, health, career or net worth, adopting a process versus outcome-based strategy can have a huge impact on both your self-esteem and your level of success. In my practice as a personal health and accountability coach, I’ve seen clients achieve tremendous results by adopting something called growth mindset.
What is growth mindset and how do I get it?
Start by asking yourself: Do I value outcome or process? For example, if you want to lose weight, outcome vs. process goals might look like this:
Outcome Goals = Focused On End Result
• Lose 15 lbs
• Take bathing suit selfies on your upcoming vacation
• Fit into a size ?? clothing
Process Goals = Step-By-Step Approach
• Wake up at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays to train
• Eat a healthy breakfast
• Plan your meals each week and shop accordingly
Outcome Focused (aka Fixed Mindset)
The problem with outcome-focused goals is that they’re based on a fixed end-result / outcome. I see this so often when people go on a diet. If your goal is to lose 15 lbs then your day probably starts on a scale. Maybe one day the number on the scale is lower but you skipped a meal, took fat-burning supplements, or overdosed on caffeine. Yes, you lost weight but you made poor choices to get there.
Diets are based on outcome goals that reward motivation instead of reinforcing good habits. Because outcome-focused goals rely heavily on motivation and sacrifice, when the motivation wanes you fall back on the poor habits that made you put on the pounds in the first place. This leads to frustration, anger and fixed mindset thoughts like ‘I will always be overweight, it is just how my body is and there is nothing I can do about it’.
How do I develop growth mindset?
Process Focused (aka Growth Mindset)
Process-focused goals are effort-based and the outcomes are a direct result of those efforts. By committing to healthy daily and weekly routines you will lose weight and you will get in better shape. Becoming process focused requires an emphasis on growth and a plan. You have to create a structure that will help you build healthy habits. That might mean waking up at 5:00, 5:30 or 6:00 a.m to accommodate training sessions or arranging for flexibility with your work schedule. But by committing to the process you build long-term healthy habits that help you not only help you reach your weight-loss goals, but make them stick. How much weight you lose will depend on a number of other factors better addressed in another article, remember the key is building good habits. Once those are locked down, refining a few things to optimize results is the easy part. Developing a sound process leads to satisfaction and personal fulfilment.
Growth mindset is a belief that focused effort will get help you reach your goals and learning to FAIL is part of that process. No human has ever achieved success without falling down along the way. Failure is your First Attempt In Learning. If your plan isn’t working, you have the power to change it.
Shifting to a growth mindset is simple but not easy. It takes time, effort and a daily commitment to executing the behaviours that you would like to become habits or your natural way of doing things. Remember, change takes effort and the reward for that effort is knowing you did it and being able to say “I’m glad I did” versus “I wish I had”.