Why Setting Goals is Useless Without First Changing Your Habits

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I love new years.

And I love spring cleaning…and setting new goals in the fall.

Basically I love any excuse to set new goals & start afresh.

But there would always be this pattern in my life. I’d get really stoked about my new goals, write them down, maybe even make a vision board or two, but then a few months down the road…I would find myself back at start…do not pass go…do not collect 200$.

It took me a while to figure this sort of obvious thing out:

Just writing down your goals doesn’t mean you’ll actually acheive them.

Even writing out your monthly plan for acheiving those goals isn’t gonna make them come true…not even weekly plans! Not even daily plans!

You catch the drift.

Because even though this is painfully obvious to me now…it wasn’t for a long time in my life:

You have to change your daily habits to actually acheive your goals.

And this is true for ANY goal. No matter how big or small….

Here’s an example:

Joe wants to become a famous artist. He currently works in construction to pay the bills, but in his free time he draws beautiful stuff…hoping that one day he’ll be recognized for his amazing work.

Will he ever be recognized for his talents and hard work?

Well that depends largely on Joe’s ability to change his daily habits.

Let’s imagine that Joe wrote down his big goal on his wall…maybe even drew a pretty picture to go with it. “I want to be paid for my art work so much that I can finnaly quit my construction job.”

Cool Joe, I’m with you but there are a few more steps you need to take to make sure this actually happens for you!

Here’s the steps (I’m gonna outline them for you in this article…because I love ya):

  1. Make Your Goals the Right Way

  2. Learn to Change Your Habits to Support Your Goal

 

For related reading see: HABIT TRACKER & SUBCONSCIOUS MIND FREEBIE

The article continues below…

 

Make Your Goals the Right Way

There are two steps to making your goals the right way.

  1. Write down your goals (make em S.M.A.R.T.)

  2. Reverse engineer your goals.

  1. write down your goals

To begin with you need to simply write down your goals.

This can be done anywhere you like to write things down, but preferably somewhere you can easily find again and again.

To make goals S.M.A.R.T. means to make them:

  • S: Specific — We’re not poets with our goals, we’re scientists, not “I want to write a book” but “I want to write a non-fiction book about self-development”

  • M: Measurable — Think measurements my loves, not “I want to get richer” but “I want to earn 10,000$”

  • A: Attainable — I like this item and I don’t. Usually I try to make my goals “realistic” but them push them a little bit further.

  • R: Relevant — This one is a bit obvious, but basically make sure your goals actually line up with what you want.

  • T: Time-Based — Which means put a deadline on your goal.

Make sure you have all of these components and you can consider your goal “written down.”

2. Reverse Engineer Your Goals

Once your goal is properly written down. The next step is to reverse engineer your goal.

To do this you need to break your goal down based on the time you’ve given yourself to complete it.

Let’s say Tina wants to write a non-fiction book about yoga. And she wants to get it published by the end of the year.

  1. List out the steps it will take for you to reach your goal.

In this case Tina does a little research and finds out the basic steps to writing a book:

  • actually writing the book

  • editing the book

  • getting feedback about the book

  • building the audience for her book

  • writing a query letter

  • sending the query letter out

Great now she knows she’s got 6 things to do this year to make her goal come true. So she moves onto the next step…

2. Create a schedule to reach your goal.

Tina figures out how long she needs for each task, then writes that plan down. The first 3 months of the year are dedicated to writing the book, etc.

3. Break the goal down into daily & weekly habits.

Awesome possum, Tina is on a roll! She now breaks down those first 3 months into weeks, as in “finish chapter 12 this week.”

Then she breaks that down into days, for example, “write for two hours every day.”

Now she’s ready for the next stage of reaching her goal….making the necessary habit changes…

 
 

Totally convinced that you need to start tracking your habits & creating a plan to reach your goals? I got you boo….download this free habit tracker to get started…

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Learn to Change Your Habits to Support Your Goal

HOW HABITS WORK

Our habits work on a loop.

It looks like this:

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The trigger causes the routine (or habit) and then you get a “reward.”

Let me give you an example: A bad habit might be, watching too much television in the afternoons after work.

In this case Sally, let’s call her, arrives home from work and walks into the living room (the trigger) and see’s the television.

Seeing the television causes her to plop down into her well-worn seat on the sofa, grab the remote, and press on (the routine or habit).

The reward is getting to watch her favorite netflix show & enjoying a well-deserved rest on the couch.


The trigger, is anything in your life that reminds you of a habit and causes you to subconsciously run that routine.

The routine is the good or bad habit that you do (such as watching netflix).

The reward is anything interpreted as “good” or “enjoyable” by your brain.


Another example might be ordering in.

Your stomach rumbles & the clock turns 7pm (the trigger). You reach for the take-out drawer call up and order food (the routine). The food arrives and it’s delicious (reward).


HOW TO CHANGE YOUR HABITS

Knowing that your habits follow this loop it is now much easier to make changes because you can learn to interrupt that loop, and replace bad habits with good ones. Or even create new habits altogether.

So let’s say that Sally wants to start reading, instead of watching television after work.

She knows what her trigger is— seeing the television. She knows what her routine is— grabbing the remote and sitting down. She knows what her reward is— watching TV.

So when she arrives home, when she walks into the living room, she walks into it with a sheet over the television and the remote hidden away in a box. So she’s removed her trigger.

And creates a new trigger!— A comfy chair, a warm blanket to wrap around herself, and a cup of tea that she’s put on when she walked in the door. Plus! A really good book sitting on the table next to her.

The new routine then is to sit down and read.

And her new reward is to enjoy a cup of tea, and find out what her favorite characters are up to.

Score, Sally! You did it!

How would YOU change Sally’s habit of ordering food in? Tell us in the comments below…

New trigger:

New habit:

New reward:

 

Ready freddy??? It’s time to make those goals happen. Grab your free habit tracker here:

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You've got the motivation, now make it a habit.

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Tell us in the comments sections below…what’s your next big goal??? Mine is in the comments below.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Habit habit tracker habits to start habits of successful people healthy habits habits to track creating habits good habits bad habits self improvement personal growth personal development personal development worksheet goal setting self development motivation self development tips lifestyle healthy lifestyle subconscious mind
Habit habit tracker habits to start habits of successful people healthy habits habits to track creating habits good habits bad habits self improvement personal growth personal development personal development worksheet goal setting self development motivation self development tips lifestyle healthy lifestyle subconscious mind