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Paleo Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers

Since going Paleo my family has fallen even more in love with our grill. Paleo and grilling just work well together. The past couple of years I've even been stepping outside my grilling comfort zone more and more. Grilling things I'd never thought to have grilled before and trying new flavor combinations. I have to say I'm pretty thrilled with the results of most of my flavor experiments.  In the past I'd never have thought to grill fruit, but it's amazing. Grilling fruit and adding it to traditionally savory dishes? Brilliant. Oh yes, and? New rule: every burger recipe for the rest of forever must contain grilled pineapple. OK, maybe more of a guideline. It's a seriously delicious combination though. This Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger is always a crowd-pleaser at my house. It's not only Paleo, but Whole30, glutenfree, lower carb, and clean eating friendly. I promise you won't miss the bun!  paleo, grilled pineapple burger, smoky
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Process Goals vs Outcome Goals and Why SMART Goals are Crap

 

Process Goals vs Outcome Goals and Why SMART Goals are Crap

I’ve mentioned 75 Hard a lot lately. I know that opinions vary pretty widely on the 75 Hard program, but the reason I’m so fond of it is that it forces me to focus on the process.


Focus on the process! We've all heard it and liked the posts on instagram, but what does that even mean? What is the process?...and why should we be focusing on it?! 


Well, the process is the doing. It’s the day in day out tasks where the true magic of change happens. It’s where I believe our entire focus should be.


OK, so I used to firmly believe in SMART goals. I mean everyone preached them from the mountaintop. Everyone who I thought knew about stuff said they were the way to go for health and fitness goals. I've probably preached about them on my blog before (sorry, by the way). Now? I think they're crap. Complete crap. 


Why?


Because I think SMART goals encourage the wrong focus. SMART goals have us focusing on crafting the perfect goals. Like, if we can just write our goals out in the exact perfect way, using the exact perfect language, holding our mouths just right, THAT, THAT will make all the difference. As if the goals in themselves are where the magic is at. 


The SMART in SMART goals stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Which sounds good, but in practice we wind up with goals like: I will lose 50 pounds by my birthday. Occasionally they might look like: I will lose 50 pounds by counting my calories and working out by June 15. The problem being, most of us focus on the 50 pounds, not the process it will take to get there. Virtually all of the goals I have seen people set using this template are outcome goals. We seem to focus so hard on crafting these "perfect" goals. Like that is going to do it. There may be a mention of process, and I suppose it's possible to translate this concept into process goals, but I say toss it altogether. It encourages the wrong focus. The magic just isn’t in the goals. It’s just not. 


Instead, I believe we should focus entirely on the process. The magic is in the process, not the goals. Writing the perfect goals list will get you exactly nowhere without the process. The process is HOW WE GET THERE. It's everything. It's action.  A mostly well designed process will get you farther down the path than an exactly perfect SMART goals list. I’m going to say that one more time: A mostly well designed process will get you farther down the path than an exactly perfect SMART goals list.


Process goals beat outcome goals every time.


OK, what do I mean by process goals and outcome goals? Well, an outcome goal is something like: lose 5 pounds, reach a size 10, win xyz race. It focuses on the outcome, or results, of our hard work. A process goal is something like: run twice a week, keep my carbs at 30 grams, lift weights three times a week. Process goals focus on the hard work itself. On the action. And to me, action is everything! It’s the only thing.


The fact is we can't control outcomes; we can only control the effort we put in.


For example, if you set an outcome goal to win xyz race. Well, you can't really control that. You can't control the weather that day, the course hazards that day, and how everyone else shows up. What you can control is your training to arrive at race day at your best. Which you can achieve by setting and focusing on process goals.


Or, when it comes to a specific quest towards say fat loss, folks often use the scale in their outcome goals. But we all know that sometimes we drink our water, get after that cardio, lift some heavy stuff, and hit them macros on point and... the scale won't do what we think it should do. This often causes someone focused on outcome goals to doubt, struggle, and eventually spiral off course. Let's face it, the scale is a fickle beast and we can't exactly control it! Focusing strictly on a scale goal will generally cause feelings of defeat and discouragement. It's scale outcome focused goals that get us like, "I did everything right and gained 2 pounds?! Eff it, I'm going to DQ." 


Especially when we attach time frames to these goals like so many recommend. Time frames are such a slippery slope in goal setting for things like fat loss, fitness, and health. It's really difficult to set a realistic time frame on how long it is going to take to lose 50 pounds in a healthy way or hit a sub-30 minute 5k. The fact is we can't really control the time frame! We can only truly control our efforts. Our actions. The hard work we put in. 


we can't control outcomes; we can only control the effort we put in.


I no longer set deadline-like time frames with goals as "SMART" goals recommend. They are just so danged discouraging and tend to set me up for a huge stumble if I miss them. It's going to take however long it takes. Determination beats deadlines every time. 


For me, and for so many others, focusing on the process is hands down a healthier mindset than focusing on the outcome. Focusing on the process is focusing on what we can do, what we can control. Did you drink your water? Check off that process goal. Did you get after that cardio? Check off that process goal. Did you lift some heavy stuff? Check off that process goal. Week won. Who cares what the scale says?! Who cares about some arbitrary time frame?! You are doing the things you need to do to take care of YOU. That is what matters. That is what will get you to where you want to be. The PROCESS is what matters. I'll go so far as to say it's ALL that matters. Both goals can lead to the same place, but process goals will get you there with a healthier mindset and much less nonsense!



The process is what matters, that thought shift, that mindset shift, that change in focus can be so helpful in this journey. When we switch from outcome goals to process goals, I firmly believe it's a far healthier mindset and much more productive in actually taking care of ourselves and getting where we want to go.

 

The process is what matters.


Focusing on the process allows us to experiment, have fun, try new things, hone our process, and focus on all the victories along the way - NOT to be blown this way and that by the outcome not fitting our preconceived time frame. 


Focusing on the process is NOW focused, it's being PRESENT. Focusing on the outcome is future focused. And ya'll....we have to stop living in the future. All we truly have is now! We live and make choices and experience joy and do the hard work to cause change in the NOW. 


Focusing on the process is about showing up for ourselves every day, taking care of ourselves every day. Whether our scale reads some number or the label on our jeans some other number.


Is there a place for outcome goals? Mmm, sort of. I do think we have to have some sort of vague outcome goals to aim us. To help shape our process. To know in which direction we want to head. We need purpose. However, I think outcome goals should be more fluid, something we should adjust as we move along our process. They're more of a general direction to aim at and use to hone our process. It's not about this perfectly crafted goal list written in magical unicorn ink with all the perfect elements placed just so. It's the process that is going to get us where we want to be-and I believe should be our main focus. The outcome goal is only there to serve our process shaping.


So, yes, set some general outcome goals. A general direction you'd like to go. Like, I want to be more fit, I want to be stronger, I want to run. Even more specific goals like, I want to squat my bodyweight, run a 5k, or wear a size 10. But don't be married to them. Be willing to adjust as you move along. 


Especially with goal weights! Say your goal weight is what you were in high school, 135 maybe, and as you're rocking along smashing your process goals you realize that goal weight is not likely going to make sense for your body. Post kids, post 40, whatever. Or maybe you discover you just aren't willing to work that damn hard for the rest of your life to maintain that lower weight. Maybe you're lifting more and realize that you with muscle will just plain weigh more on the scale. So, you adjust that goal up. Maybe 145. Maybe 150. Maybe throw the scale away. Whatever. 


When it comes to a 'goal weight' I think a better goal in general is to aim at your happy weight. Your happy healthy self. Where you feel fit, strong, healthy, and like yourself while at the same time don't have to kill yourself and feel beat up to stay at that weight. Your sweet spot. Trust me, you’ll know it when you get there. For now, set a goal of your best guess at where that is, then, you set your process accordingly. And adjust it as you go along and figure out how your body responds and what works best for you!


Slight tangent, but can I just say it's OK not to want 6-pack abs, or not to want to weigh what you did in high school, or not to want to be a size 4? I cannot stress enough YOUR HAPPY WEIGHT. YOUR HAPPY HEALTHY SELF. YOUR SWEET SPOT. Societal pressure be hanged. This is not about looking like everyone on IG. It's about loving and taking care of yourself and your body. It's about health and well-being. Where do YOU feel happy and healthy? Where do YOU feel strong and competent to take on your life? Where are your energy levels rockin’? It's also OK that this might be a process of figuring it out. Don’t be married to your goal weight. Instead, be open to finding it.


On the flip side, it's OK if you want a 6-pack, if you want to weigh what you did in high school, or if you want to be a size 4. So long as you're being good to you, have at it. Again, YOUR HAPPY WEIGHT, YOUR HAPPY HEALTHY SELF, YOUR SWEET SPOT. I am over all the shaming this, body positivity that, but shaming according to "these" rules and positivity according to "those" rules. "Diet culture" blah blah. You do you. Eff all the nonsense. It's OK to take care of yourself. Period. It's OK if you want to lose fat. It's OK to want to make changes to better your health. It's OK to eat healthy and workout. It's OK if a certain way of eating makes you FEEL better. Sometimes I think we've overcorrected.


Also, it's OK if your goals and priorities change. It's OK if you fail and stumble and fall and get back up 7 million times. What is not OK is giving up on you. NOT taking care of you. NOT taking care of your health. You have one life. One body. Love it well. I think that's a responsibility we should all take more seriously.


OK, end rant. Sis, take care of you, that’s all I’m saying.


I think the beauty of focusing on the process, of focusing on building the habits, is that it really is about building a life. Building our lives and ourselves to be what we want. Designing our life how we want it to be. Being the best healthiest self we can be. Because the process should always be with us. It’s not weehaw, I reached my outcome goal, now where’s my cake? It’s about designing our process and building it into our lives in order to be who we want to be long term.


Focus on the process. The results of that one mindset shift are truly more powerful than I feel able to articulate. It’s so much more than something catchy to say on Instagram. 


It’s not easy. It takes effort to make that shift. But I think it’s well worth it and I think it all starts with the shift from outcome goals to process goals.


So, how do we do that? How do we shift from outcome goals to process goals?


Let’s use the fat loss example again. Let’s say you’ve determined that your goal should be fat loss. OK, even make that more specific. You’re currently at X percent body fat and you think you should be at Y percent body fat. OK, first, don’t be too attached to that final outcome, but realize instead that you will become more sure of your destination during the process of getting there. But it makes for a good aim for your process. 


So, your aim is fat loss. OK, what does that process need to look like? What habits need to be built into your lifestyle to make that occur? What do you need to do day in and day out to cause that? What have you done in the past that helped or didn’t? 


It’s good to take a look at your current lifestyle and habits first. Maybe track your food intake and daily activity for a few days to get a good baseline. Often we’re really not fully aware of what we’re doing right now. Take stock of that BEFORE designing your process. It can be extremely enlightening towards what changes need to be made.


Side note, since we’re using fat loss as an example, I would definitely recommend not JUST having the goal of fat loss. I think having the co-goals of getting fit, healthier, and stronger are super important and will keep you in a better mindset. Plus, there will be way more things to celebrate along the way.



OK, Once you’ve taken stock of what you’re doing now and pondered the success of what you’ve tried in the past, then it’s time for some research. Look around for helpful things to include in your process. Might I say that Episodes 1 through 9 of my podcast would be a great place to start. Do some research. Read some books. Follow what you’re drawn most to. Start there. Design your process. If we take some time to reflect we often really do know what our general process needs to look like.


To give you a real life example. I have a current goal of fat loss, and my process looks like this:


I eat with a general paleo food template

1500 calories a day

150 grams of protein a day

30 grams of carbs a day

I do Heavy Barbell training 3 times a week

I take Walks in the sunshine of at least 45 minutes (sometimes that’s twice a day because I’m doing 75 Hard)

Occasionally I do HIIT on my Echo Bike, with my kettlebell etc

And I drink a Gallon of water a day because I’m doing 75 Hard (normally I drink closer to 100 oz)


That’s my general process. Each of those items is a process goal that I check off every day. And I focus strictly and intently on those tasks. I only have a general goal of fat loss, I don’t actually have a body fat percentage goal. I’ll know it when I’m there. And as I go along I will adjust as needed. Maybe try calorie cycling or whatever. As you go along you’ll find you can really hone in on what exactly your process needs to look like just by being consistent.


Your process may look entirely different depending on your age, fitness level, and preferences. Maybe you join a crossfit gym or decide to become a yoga instructor as part of your process. You get the point. If you want me to talk more about designing your process let me know and I’ll do another episode on that. 


Whatever it is, you design your process and then you focus on it with white hot intensity. EVERY DAY LASER FOCUS ON THAT PROCESS. Be all in. I think this is something people often miss. You really do have to get passionate about your process. About owning those tasks each and every day. Over and over and over and over. No matter what. Until they’re built into your life. Especially when it comes to health and fitness. It’s about day in and day out, it’s about the long term, it’s about forever. Not some short term quick fix crash diet. We’re finding the unforced rhythms of what we can build into our life for good. THAT is our process.


Get excited, get focused, but above all: get consistent. The fact is some days we’ll feel on fire with motivation and sometimes we can think of 1,000 other things we’d rather do. But the fact is we don’t have to want to, we don’t have to feel like it, we just have to do it. When it comes to our process it doesn’t even matter if we just go through the motions some days. So long as we check off those tasks. 



Can your process change? Sure. Honing our process, figuring out what works best for us and our lives is the point of it all. It’s good to check in every month or two and take inventory of your process, but beware of changing your process too often. That is often a huge mistake and spirals off into quitting and a complete lack of consistency. Often we just don’t give things enough time and scrap an entire process out of impatience. I definitely don’t recommend changing things too often. Also, radical honesty is required here. We can’t go changing a process we really haven’t been giving our all. If we’re really only hitting our process goals 2 out of 7 days that does not warrant a process change necessarily. It may be that we need to focus harder on consistency. OR if you aren’t hitting your fitness tasks let’s say because you’ve built something into your process that is just too inconvenient or expensive or something, that may warrant a change. Again, radical honesty is required before any process change. OR our fitness process may change if we set a new goal. Say running a 5k or hitting a bodyweight squat. OR, say when we no longer want fat loss to be our main focus. Things like that will warrant a process change. Our lives and goals change and therefore our process will change too, but the general structure of a healthy life always remains. For example, in November and December I was strictly focused on building muscle and gaining strength. So, when in January I changed my focus to fat loss some things changed. Mostly calorie and cardio related. But I still focus on quality food, feeling strong, getting out in the sunshine, etc. Living a long healthy life is always the constant background goal.


Now, I’m talking specifically about our health and fitness here, but it’s the same with anything. Want to write a book or start a podcast? What does that process look like? Do your research, design your process, and then go after it with all you’ve got. It works the same no matter the goals. But with some of those goals it may be a process for a time until we complete something. While with our health, nutrition, and fitness it has to be a constant ongoing process that we never stop. Only change and improve upon as we go. Because health is a journey, not a destination.

Process goals not outcome goals. What do you think? Thoughts? Questions? Tweet me!




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