Healthy Tahoe: Successful goals rely on mental performance

Ryan Carr

Free wellness lecture

Don’t miss Barton Health’s free wellness lecture Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness, from 6-7 p.m. featuring insight from mental performance expert Ryan Carr. For more information, visit

Setting your goals is crucial to creating the life you love, having a sense of fulfillment, and being happy.

With a new year and new decade upon us, now is a great time to chart a course to accomplish what is most important to you and set personal, professional and health-related goals.

There are different aspects of setting goals, all of which depend on mental performance and addressing the psychological components of what you want to accomplish, and why, to be successful.

Grab a piece of paper and get ready to break down those New Year resolutions into attainable goals that keep you accountable and mentally focused.

Outcome Goals

How was this past year for you in regards to your personal and professional life, as well as your health? Write down one thing in each category you did well, one thing you have an opportunity to improve upon, and one thing you were grateful for.

Now that you have your positive energy going, let’s set Outcome Goals for the year ahead. Outcome Goals are something you want to achieve this year.

Go ahead and reach for something that will challenge you, but not something that is not totally unrealistic. Outcome Goals can be for your personal life, professional life, and your overall health.

A critical part of determining successful Outcome Goals is identifying why they are important to you. Make sure the reason speaks to you and is something worth working towards.

Process Goals

Next, write down what needs to happen for each Outcome Goal to be successful. These aspects are called Process Goals, and are things you have control over. For example, if your Outcome Goal is to lose 10 pounds, your Process Goals would help you get there.

Committing to exercising outdoors two times per week for at least 60 minutes is a Process Goal. Try to have at least two Process Goals for each Outcome Goal. In this case, planning to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, or going to the gym twice each week for strength and cardio workouts are other Process Goals to help arrive at the desired outcome.

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 that 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 and you can formulate a game plan to work around them.

Equally important is creating a support system who will help you in achieving those goals. Think about family, friends, coworkers, 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 measure these goals by reflecting daily, weekly and monthly on your progress. Set a time in your day, week and month that you look back at your goals and check in with yourself.

Put your Outcome and Process goals somewhere that you can see them 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 is the Performance Supervisor for Barton Health, and a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. To learn more about performance training and services through Barton Health, visit

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