Eeek. An over-reliance on the end result can make for an all-or-nothing training experience. While goals are important and worthy of your time, they can also distance you from the day-to-day work needed to accomplish them. Maybe you need some process goals.
You are probably used to setting outcome goals. They are relatively easy to imagine. You can list them off in your head. A flat middle split, a waist roll up, a 1-minute handstand. They are the tricks and the skills. They are the destination, a chair on a small island, a fruity beverage in hand.
Processes, on the other hand, can be overlooked or forgotten because they take thought, planning, and often HELP. Processes are the steps you take along the way. They can be moving you toward a destination OR they can just keep you moving.
Let’s say your outcome goal is to perform a back flag in a new act. That’s a fabulous goal. But… global pandemic. If there won’t be any live performances in the near term, you can lay out process-goal breadcrumbs along the way to maintain your motivation. Over the next 4-6 weeks, you could focus on shoulder mobility and stability, and set process goals on the frequency, intensity, and duration of your shoulder drills. The subsequent 4-6 weeks, you might choose to focus on the process of act creation, setting aside exploration time in and out of back flag shapes.
Do you see the difference? Your outcome goal focuses on the end. Your process goal focuses on the means.
It’s okay if you don’t have an outcome goal!
Not every moment in life calls for outcome-oriented training goals. Sometimes your personal integrity dictates different priorities, be it family, health, or career. In those times, it can be helpful to shift your focus solely to the process.
Is aerial rope training also your meditative, creative time? Is it not your number one priority, but also important to stay sane? Set a process goal of doing the thing a certain number of hours per week, with no outcome in mind. Just do the thing and feel a sense of achievement for showing up for yourself.
Do you have any process goals for the next 4-6 weeks? Are they related to any outcomes? Drop them in the comments below.
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