Activity vs Results Goals

A friend of mine, Adam Packard, is in the process of reading a personal development book every day for 365 days.  (Check it out HERE!)  This is definitely a challenge I want to undertake at some point in the next few years, but for now I’m enjoying the little tidbits of wisdom I get from his facebook status updates!

A few weeks ago, Adam posted a review for a book called Carrots & Sticks, by Ian Ayres, that really got me thinking.  He says, “If you’ve ever tried to meet a goal and came up short, the problem may not have been that the goal was too difficult or that you lacked the discipline to succeed.”  In fact, he says, the problem may have been simply that the reward was not great enough!

As women, we are all trying to lose weight and be thinner, prettier, etc, whether we need to or not.  That’s another post.  But most of us use weight as a measurement of achieving our goals.  I have a pretty nice reward for getting to my goal–a whole new wardrobe!  But, in spite of the reward, it wasn’t enough motivation to keep me going.  I’d be so focused on that weight goal that every time I stepped on the scale, I’d be discouraged and figure–“Who cares, anyway?  I just want a cookie!”  Sound familiar?

So, this week, I decided to combine what I know about rewards with what I know about women and meeting goals–namely that women do better with activity goals than results goals.  So, I set up a really fun reward–basically a makeover for me–if I stick to my activity for two weeks.  Nothing has really changed–except my focus is on completing my activities (eating right & exercising), rather than on getting to a certain weight.  Guess what?!  It’s working!

If you are having trouble meeting your goals (and you know they are SMART goals), try combining a great reward with an activity goal, rather than a results goal.  I think you’ll amazed at the difference it makes!

 

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