Achieve Your Goals By Building Good Habits

Achieve Your Goals By Building Good Habits


In today's post I want to cover a topic that I believe is very important. Everyone Everyone has a goal, or rather goals that they want to achieve in their life. While I believe that goal setting is important, I do believe that building healthy and lasting habits is twice as important. Everyone including myself have both good and bad habits.

Now according to Websters Dictionary a "Habit" is:

    • A settled tendency or usual manner of behavior
    • An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary
    • A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance


    We all have had most of our habits instilled in us from the moment we were born. Other habits we picked up as we continued to grow and mingle in society through school and the work place. Whether good or bad, habits are a direct reflection of our thoughts and actions. It is important to note that by starting a new habit or getting rid of a bad can truly help shape and change our lives for the better.


    Have You Ever Heard of Micro Habits?

    Micro habits are super small actions that require very little commitment. They are tied to goals which are much bigger, loftier end games and help make them possible. Imagine you have the goal to read more. If you don’t already have the time set aside for reading, it may seem like you couldn’t possibly add reading to your long to do list. Creating the micro habit of reading one page per day is an excellent first step towards becoming an avid reader. Finding time in the day for one page in a book is nearly effortless. Once you establish the micro habit, it’s easier to expand your reading over time.  


    creating good habits - journaling


    Micro Habits Are Great When You Want to Make Changes In Your Life

    A habit can be anything you repeat over and over again until it becomes automatic. Do you brush your teeth each night before bed? That’s a habit! Do you bite your nails? That’s a habit too. Some habits are desirable while others aren’t. Building or breaking habits can be easier when you break them down into micro actions that are easy to adopt. Micro habits are great for making changes because they require very little motivation or effort and have the staying power needed to shift behavior over time. 


    What’s the Difference Between Micro and Regular Habits?

    If you think about a habit as a system, it can help you better understand how your system may, or may not, be working well. If your system is big and complicated it can be hard to stick to or could be missing important steps. Breaking things down into micro steps reduces activities and behaviors to very manageable micro habits. So, developing the habit of vegetarianism may feel overwhelming if you routinely polish off a steak during dinner, but starting your vegetarian journey with one meatless meal each week is easy and can lead to a more sustainable habit.


    Micro habits are effortless and they make a big difference when trying to change behavior. Smaller habits, done routinely over time, can make a big impact on your health and your overall lifestyle. 


    Habits Are Important When Trying to Achieve Any Goal

    There’s a lot of info out there about goal setting. Businesses routinely create goals and a lot of people start the new year with a list of fresh goals hoping to make positive changes in their lives. Goals are important. They represent ideas, hopes, and dreams. If you’ve set goals before you know the excitement of creating a vision and setting your sights on achieving it. Setting goals is definitely important, however goals don’t mean anything if you don’t develop the right habits to reach them.


    Here are 3 Reasons Why Habits May be More Important Than Goal Setting:

      • Goals are Inspiring, Habits are Sustaining
      • Goals are Complex, Habits are Easy
      • Goals are Finite, Habits are Endless


    Sustainability is more important than inspiration- Goals can be very inspiring. Dreaming up new ideas can get anyone excited about the possibilities. In the goal-setting phase, nothing is off limits. As the saying goes- if you can dream it you can do it, right? Not always. Goals are very inspiring and can get you motivated to make changes, but as soon as the motivation wanes, so does your inspiration. Habits are more important than goals because they create something sustainable. Creating, engaging in, and adopting a habit morphs it into something automatic that you can do whether you are inspired to or not. Brushing your teeth doesn’t require inspiration, it simply happens because it’s a sustainable, routine hygiene habit.

    Ease is more important than doing things the hard way- Goals are complex because they don’t take into account roadblocks, unforeseen issues, or how realistic their achievement is. Goals are easily abandoned when they get hard because there isn’t a system in place to reach them. Habits are easy because they are small. Done consistently, they become effortless. Building a system of habits may take time, but in the end it’s easier to get where you want to go by adding easy-to-do habits together.  

    Building a lifetime of good habits is more important than reaching a goal- Goals are finite. If you decide to run a marathon, your goal ends with the finish line. If you develop the habit of running each day, you have a life-long health habit that surpasses the goal of running a marathon. Setting a goal to make a specific amount of money by a certain due date is a great goal, however developing the habit of making consistent income and saving every time you do, paid builds wealth.

    Having goals is a great thing, but it’s more important to build habits that help you reach and surpass your goals. In the end, you can’t reach your goals without developing key habits that make it possible.


    Our Lives Are A Reflection of Our Habits - The Effects of Accumulation

    Do you collect things? Or know someone who does? Usually people might start out by collection one or two items. Over time it grows into something more. I personally love collecting journals vintage and books. Whether it's fictions books or vintage/antique books, I can't seem to help myself! Whatever we collect, eventually becomes a representation of ourselves.

    Habits can be a lot like that too. The more we take part in certain activities, the bigger you can see it's presence is in our lives. In all honesty, our lives tend to be a reflection of our habits. Let me show you how with these 2 examples:


    • Your Finances Reflect Your Spending Habits: Your bank account reflects your spending and saving habits. Your average daily balance is a cumulative reflection on how well you spend and save money. Over time, the small decisions you make about money add up and impact your wealth…or lack of it. If you make a habit of saving or investing each time you get paid, that accumulation or investment will grow exponentially over time leaving you to reap the benefits. You will have more money saved and a growing investment for the future. Now if you look at it from a different perspective and make a habit of spending all of your money frivolously, it will be reflected in your lack in finances and your constant struggle to save. When it comes to micro habits, small steps can make a BIG difference over time. Saving as little as 10% of your income consistently adds up and there are many ways you can invest your some of your saving to grow your money.


    • Your Health Reflects Diet & Exercise Habits: Other than living with a chronic illness or injury, your weight, health, and overall lifestyle are a reflection of the habits you have. The types of foods you eat, whether or not you exercise, how tidy and neat your home is are all a reflection of the cumulative habits you engage in. Simple but small habits like stretching when you wake up, making your bed, drinking water or tea instead of soda/juices, or pre-packing your lunches can make a BIG impact on your attitude and health. The small things you do day in and day out add up to the results you have when you look in the mirror each morning or how you feel when walking into your home.


    Remember That Nothing Happens Overnight

    No one can become wealthy by saving only, the same way no one can become physically fit by working out just one time. Nothing happens overnight. It’s the accumulation of behaviors and habits that adds up to the results you want. The good news is small habits can help you achieve the outcomes you want. Small things done over time accumulate and the results can be amazing.


    creating good micro habits


    When Adopting New Habits - Try Adding Sustainable Micro Habits (Less is Always More)

    There are no limits to the types of micro/small habits you can create to help get yourself headed in the right direction. There are unlimited ways to begin to do new things in new ways, but remember something important- less is more.  Micro habits are just that, micro. They are teeny, tiny actions that on their own may seem insignificant, but they are perfect for building lasting change.


    Keep Your Focus on Sustainability

    Micro habits should be geared towards one thing, sustainability. Whatever micro habit you create, it should become something you can activate, repeat, and eventually internalize so it becomes automatic.

    A great example of a micro habit could look like this: If you frequently misplace your keys, you can create the micro habit of hanging them on a hook beside the door every time you enter your home.

    In the beginning, it will take conscious effort to remind yourself to hang the keys as you walk in. If done repeatedly, the action will become automatic and you won’t have to consciously think about it again. The micro habit eventually becomes automatic and the result is you never waste time or are late because you don’t misplace your keys.

    Break Your Habit Down to the Barest Minimum

    Designing a micro habit requires breaking it down to the barest minimal essence of a task. Think of it like a step-by-step plan towards a goal. If you set a goal to ‘read more’ you can break the goal down until you create a micro habit that supports the goal and is sustainable for your lifestyle. A few examples of a micro habit to ‘read more’ could be

      • Carry a book with you in your bag
      • Read one page per day
      • Read one page before bed
      • Read one page before breakfast

    Any of these micro habits will be easy to adopt and easily become a habit that is automatic over time. Carrying a book with you can open up opportunities to read throughout the day. Reading one page per day or before bed can easily lead to reading more each session. Creating the micro habit helps steer you towards the overall goal.

    Did you know!? The great thing about micro habits is they build on one another. Once a micro habit becomes automatic, it’s a great time to piggy back off of it and add a new micro habit. An example could be piggy backing reducing screen time with reading more. After mastering a micro habit for reading, you can tag a new micro habit that supports reducing screen time to it. An example could be

    - Before scrolling social media, I read a page in a book
    - When I read before bed, I put my phone down for the night

    Adding positive micro habits together increases their value and adds to your overall best practices in life. 



    Did You Know That You Can Build Better Micro Habits by Changing Your Environment

    They say we are the sum of the five things that influence us the most. For the most part, we are the sum of…

    • The five foods we eat most often
    • The five people we spend the most time with
    • The five ways we recreate on a regular basis
    • The five resources we use most to educate ourselves
    • And more!


    Our Habits are Greatly Influenced by Our Environment

    Our habits are greatly influenced by our environment. The things we do regularly, the people we see, the activities we engage in are all molded in the environment we live in. When the environment is healthy, habits tend to follow. In the same way, an unhealthy environment can promote unhealthy habits.

    It's entirely possible to adopt poor habits in a good environment. It’s common to become sedentary or eat unhealthy foods even when you live among health-conscious people. The good news is, in this type of situation it’s fairly easy to shift your habits and make positive changes.

    When your environment isn’t great, it can be harder to break free and make better habits.

    Our environment is shaped by culture. Family, religion, career, and friendship all have a culture and it’s normal to be driven by being the same or similar to the culture. Breaking free can be hard, even when it’s the healthiest and best thing to do.


    Change Your Environment, Change Your Habits

    You have a lot of control over the five things that influence you the most. Even if you can’t control every aspect of your life, you can still make the best of the available choices no matter what. In many cases, changing your environment can help you build better micro habits. Here are some ideas that can help-

    Take a walk during lunch: If your co-workers tend to get take out or go out to eat, shifting your focus during your lunch break can help. Set a small habit of walking during your lunch break and use the time to be physically active rather than social.

    Read during TV time: If you usually binge watch TV shows or movies but you really want to start reading more, you can make a small habit of reading for 30 minutes before you turn on the TV. Over time, you can increase the time you spend reading until you've built a solid habit of reading.

    Make a salad for dinner: Your family may be the meat and potatoes sort, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make small shifts. Create a small habit of adding a salad to the dinner table each night. You may be the only one who eats it, but the small shift in the environment can make a big difference.


    Changing the environment you are in helps make adopting micro habits a bit easier. Shifting the focus and reducing the influences of others makes it easier to create new habits that work for you with or without their support.




                    achieve your goals by building good habits       achieve your goals by adopting good habits


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