What Is Behavior-Based Goal Setting?

by Peggy Everson

When we think of goal setting, we usually think of things that envision a specific outcome. Some examples include:

• Lose 20 pounds.
• Increase income by 10%.
• Buy a larger house or newer vehicle.
• Run a marathon.
• Save money for college.

Of course, these are just a few of the more common goals that people set for themselves. But, what if we based them on changing behaviors instead of obtaining a specific outcome? Could we modify, or completely change, behaviors that would lead us to the desired outcome quicker, healthier, and with less stress? Some experts certainly do think so.

Many times, when we set intentions, we focus on the negative, i.e. what we don’t want, rather than what we do want. Behavior-based goals focus more on the behaviors we want to strengthen, rather than the negative actions we want to remove.

In strengthening the positive behaviors, we change the way we act, and react, in many situations, not just situations surrounding a target (goal) that is outcome-based.

The ripple effect of creating more positive behaviors in our lives is wide-reaching, affecting far more than just what we may have had in mind when we initially created the goal.

Also, many businesses today are focusing on behavior-based objectives, rather than outcome-based ones, because of that ripple effect. Smart companies know that when behavior changes for the positive, the employee is happier, not only at work but in their personal life, and family life as well.

A happier employee is a more productive employee. So, managers are learning to integrate behavior-based goals at each employee review.

This type of target-setting isn’t seen just in the office, either. Personal trainers, life coaches, entrepreneurs, psychologists, therapists, and so many other professions are adding behavior-based goal setting to their repertoire of techniques.

As a consequence, that helps everyone in those industries to help their clients reach success (or greater success), whatever that may mean to them.

Targets that change behaviors can be seen as a kind of intermediate goal that helps one achieve outcome-based objectives easier, faster, and with more residual positive effects. A positive behavior that is strengthened in order to reach a goal is going to be strengthened in every situation where that behavior is utilized.

Try setting a few behavior-based goals of your own, and you’ll see that positively changing a behavior really helps in so many different areas of your life. The results are everlasting, and your new positive behaviors will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Peggy Everson is a Certified/Strategic Lifestyle/Business Coach, Professional Organizer, People Problem Solver, Small Business Owner, And A Rescue Dog Lover. Got a problem? Let’s talk… Superior Organized Solutions (SOS) is transforming the lives of individuals and entrepreneurs, through coaching and personality profiling!

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