Setting Habits

Posted on January 12, 2013


hand pushing a button on a touch screen interface

We were just talking about forming habits in the last post. Because habits usually stem from small steps, they are longer-lasting and more sustainable than big goals that you try to accomplish all of a sudden. So rather than goal-setting, try to set up some daily habits that will slowly and surely lead you in the direction you’d like to be going.

For example:

-If you want to workout more often, start by doing some physical activity for a few minutes every day. Maybe take the stairs instead of the elevator or park further from an entrance. Maybe do 5 sit ups or a few push ups in the morning or go for a 5 minute walk during the workday.  

-If you want to manage your finances better, start by cutting back something that won’t make you feel completely deprived. Maybe just order an appetizer when you meet friends for dinner rather than a whole meal. Maybe skip the Starbucks one morning and make coffee at home. Cancel a magazine subscription or discontinue the cable that you never have enough time to watch anyway. 

-If you want to utilize your time more efficiently, maybe limit the time you’re web browsing or on Facebook. Maybe you could set up some time boundaries around your personal time-suckers and time-wasters. 

By shifting your belief from goal-setting to habit-forming, you are already setting yourself up to be more successful. Think about it-people talk about ‘not reaching their goals’ or ‘not accomplishing their goals’ but you don’t hear the same universal laments about the struggle to form good habits. 

Successful people aren’t above-average goal setters. They are just better about forming habits that help them create better lives. There’s no reason why you can’t do this as well. 

Posted in: Habits, Setting Goals