Healthy Tahoe: Reframe your resolution

Ryan Carr, MA, CSCS, CMPC, SCCC 
Ryan Carr

Setting goals is crucial to leading a life you love, having a sense of fulfillment, and being happy. The new year marks a great time to chart a course for personal, professional, and health-related goals. By exercising mental performance, you can be successful. Grab a piece of paper and get ready to break down those New Year Resolutions into actionable goals that keep you accountable and mentally focused. 

Start here. Summarize this past year in personal life, professional life, and health. In each category, write down one thing you did well, one thing you have an opportunity to improve upon, and one thing you were grateful for. 

Outcome Goals are something you want to achieve this year. Go ahead and reach for something that will challenge you, but remain realistic. A critical part of determining successful Outcome Goals is identifying why they are important to you; be sure to include your reason.

Process Goals. Next, write down what needs to happen for each Outcome Goal to be successful. This is called Process Goals, and are things you have control over. For example, if your Outcome Goal is to lose 10 pounds, your Process Goal might be to commit to exercising outdoors two times per week for at least 60 minutes, or to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Try to have at least two Process Goals for each Outcome Goal.

Fun Fact. Process Goals are where the fun lives. In the example above, if you are only focusing on losing 10 pounds, you won’t be happy until you get there. However, focusing on the journey allows you to celebrate all the small victories along the way, such as getting your workouts in and eating healthy. 

Overcoming Barriers

The next part of successful goal setting is identifying the challenges you may encounter along the way, such as time, money, other people’s priorities, and so on. By identifying the hurdles you might have to jump over, you won’t be surprised when they come up. Instead, you have formulated a game plan to work around them.

Equally important is creating a support system that will help you in achieving those goals. Think about family, friends, coworkers, and significant others who can assist you along the way. Select people for your support team who will give you a pat on the back when needed, but also help you if you happen to get off-track.

Keep Your Mental Focus

Stay on-track and set times to measure your progress daily, weekly, and monthly. Put your Outcome and Process Goals somewhere you see often, such as your bathroom mirror, on your desk, next to your bed, or on the refrigerator. Most importantly, make sure you enjoy the process of working towards your goals and have fun along the journey!

Ryan Carr, MA, CSCS, CMPC, SCCC, is the Performance Supervisor and a certified Mental Performance Coach at the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness. To learn more about performance training including mental performance coaching and other wellness services, visit

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