Process- and outcome- oriented goals

Tiana Tallant Uncategorized

My sister and I have been doing accessory gymnastics work 3-4 times/ week because we both love getting better at body weight movements. One of the guys at the gym asked us a question yesterday that really got me thinking… he asked, “how long until you’ll be able to do a muscle up?”

My answer was “I’m not sure and I don’t really care.” Do I want to be able to a strict muscle up- absolutely. But I am really more concerned with having the joint range of motion necessary, the appropriate connective tissue adaptations, the kinesthetic awareness and strength to perform the movement than I am with performing the movement itself.

So my training program has included things like false grip hold, false grip pull ups (pulling toward sternum), transition drills, full ROM static dips, modified ring dips, top position support holds, and partner assisted muscle ups.

For me at 170 pounds- I know that I am going to need a fuxxxxx ton of strength to get a strict muscle up. And I know it might take me a couple (more) years. But I also know that if I focus on the outcome of getting a muscle up- that I get frustrated and give up- because I have done that a few different times over the past 3 years.

Fortunately, now I know that I thrive when using process-focused goals as opposed to strictly outcome focused goals.

I have been doing the exact same thing with weightlifting- do I want to hit snatch and CJ PRs? Absolutely. But instead of focusing on those things- I’ve been focusing on showing up to the gym 6 days a week and doing exactly what my coach has programmed for me. We’ve been working on improving the bar path in all my lifts, hammering overhead strength and stability, and getting me comfortable in all the positions necessary for successful lifts. I know that bigger weights will come, but again focusing on those things is not what helps me be successful.

I did exactly the same thing with nutrition. When I started working with @lauriechristineking 3 years ago, I wanted to become the type of person who took care of myself- who felt good about the food choices that I made for myself- I wanted to be that person who people wouldn’t offer junk food to at the office because they knew I wouldn’t eat it. A couple years later, I have become that person who takes care of myself and who invests time and effort in maintaining my health. I became the person who believed in myself enough to step away from a career that I invested 3 years of my time and $80k in. When I worked in PT, and people at my office would order lunch, they eventually stopped asking me if I wanted anything because they knew I always brought my lunch.

Here are some other examples of outcome focused goals: Add x pounds to my back squat, do x unbroken muscle ups, lose x pounds, lose x inches from my waist, achieve x body fat percentage.

And some examples of process focused goals: Squat 4 days a week and do accessory movements to address specific squat weaknesses, spend 20-30 minutes a day working on whatever components are preventing you from stringing together x muscle ups, commit to putting veggies on your plate 3 times a day, commit to weighing and measuring food daily, commit to prepping food once weekly (especially if your schedule is busy).

There is nothing wrong with outcome oriented goals- but I think solely focusing on outcomes is where we set ourselves up for failure. If we don’t spend any energy focusing on cultivating habits/ processes/ systems to achieve our outcome oriented goals, I think we are missing a big piece of the puzzle!!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this below!