Habits vs. Goals

Posted on January 10, 2013


A dock at sunset on White Sands Island in the Maldives.

Good habits, and bad habits too, usually start with a small change and then proceed from there. The very nature of habits is that they are sustainable over time. 

You wake up early one morning, decide to just sit and breathe for a few minutes before the chaos of the day begins and it feels so good that you do it the next day,too. Before you know it, you’re setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier so that you can do a mini-meditation. And like that, you’ve created a daily practice.

Or one lunch break a colleague asks you to go for a walk with her and the two of you enjoy it so much, you start incorporating it into your schedule three times a week. You come back to work energized. You start to lose weight. You feel so awesome that you organize daily walks with your coworkers.

Bad habits start this way, too. You’re stressed out, so you step outside for a 5 minute break and someone offers you a cigarette. Before you know it, you’re smoking every day. Or on a busy workday, you stop for breakfast at McDonald’s. The next day, you do the same. And then, several months later, you realize that you’ve gained 15 lbs and feel sluggish by the time you get to work.

If we approached goal-setting in the same ways we approach habit-making, there’s a much greater chance of success and sustainability.  

Posted in: Setting Goals