The holiday season is almost upon us.  That means it is time for friends, family, celebration, gifts and food!  Here at Internal Wisdom, we love the holidays and know how  important it is to maintain our healthy lifestyles during the holiday season.  We love to indulge in moderation and we know that the best way to stay on track is to plan ahead.  Rather than fall off the wagon this holiday season, we are all committing to setting personal goals around how we want to engage our individual internal wisdom over the holiday. This being said, most of us don’t understand proper goal setting techniques.

Setting goals helps direct attention to specific areas, as well as provides motivation, persistence and a will to succeed. First of all there are several types of goals, these include:

  1. Outcome Goals: or goals that focus on a competitive result such as winning a race.
  2. Performance Goals: goals that are individually based such as beating your previous time in a race.
  3. Process Goals: usually only apply to athletes where one focuses on improving execution of a movement such as lengthening their stroke while swimming.
Most Americans set outcome goals as early as childhood.  Have you ever tried to get a group of kids to play a game without keeping score?  Ha ha, not likely right?  Everybody wants to win.  It is in our biology to survive and let’s be honest, winning is fun. The problem with outcome goals however, is that they are largely out of your control.  Though we can give 100%, competition isn’t based on who puts forth the most effort.  It is based on who puts forth the best performance. If I was to set an outcome goal of winning a marathon it would be totally dependent on how fast everyone else ran and not just myself.   Because of this, outcome goals can be very disheartening.
Performance Goals are individually based, so the level of difficulty and the attainability is all up to you.
Now that you understand the types of goals you can understand the goal making process:
  1. Set specific goals: the more specific a goal is the more effective it becomes I.e. improving your mile time by 1minute vs run a better mile
  2. Set difficult but attainable goals:goals have no real value if they are too attainable but become disheartening if they are too difficult, try to find a middle ground and feel free to adjust your goals to fit you better
  3. Set both long and short term goals: think of a stair case you cannot simply jump to the top step you need the in between steps
  4. Set both practice and competition goals (for athletes)
  5. Record your goals: goals placed where they can easily been seen daily is highly recommended to improve motivation. Training logs were also found to be helpful
  6. Fully understand your motivation: your level of motivation directly influences if and when you complete your goal, be specific and passionate about your motivation
  7. Find support from those around you: the more people who know and understand your goal the more likely you are to complete it due to a level of commitment to your word
  8. Evaluate your progress: set up informal meetings with your trainer, friends or family to discuss your progress and how to continue towards your goal.


Remember to only set one goal at a time and that everyone is different so no two goals should be the same or will be accomplished in the same time frame. Goals provide confidence, motivation, hope and a plan towards success in all areas of our lives.

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