Three types of goals are relevant for fitness: process, performance, and outcome goals.
- A process goal is something we have a high degree of control over, like attending kettlebell class three times a week, drinking a gallon of water every day, writing down our workouts, and focusing on full hip and knee extension when doing swings and snatches. Process goals are about developing good habits that should lead to better performance. Participation, attention, and diligence are required.
- A performance goal is a physical act that we have to train up to, like a milestone or personal record. It is something we may or may not succeed in accomplishing. A performance goal could be to run a mile in 7 minutes, do three strict pullups in a row, reduce bodyweight by 10%, or press a 24kg kettlebell.
- An outcome goal involves measuring up against other people, such as placing well in a contest, being the strongest lifter in class, or winning a race. We don’t have as much control over outcomes because we can’t control how other people perform.
All three types of goals should be used, as long as they are motivating.