In my first post, I wrote about enjoying the journey. Focusing less on end goals and accomplishments, and more on the activities that make up each beautiful day. One of the most impactful transitions I’ve made in this regard is turning my goals into habits. Goals inherently are accomplishment-based, particularly for those who “grew up” in corporate America’s performance management systems. We’ve been trained to build S.M.A.R.T. goals to drive results:
These goals are focused on the results – the accomplishments. And I get it, results drive business, so measuring them is imperative. But measuring results for companies doesn’t have to be the same way we measure individual progress.
If we maintain the mindset that “you are what you do every day,” then it’s important to work on ourselves daily. To consistently improve and move forward. Consistency is created with habits, not chasing a singular end goal. When we focus on consistency, often the results come faster and more naturally than they would otherwise.
Here are some thought starters on goals you can turn into habits:
Lose 10 pounds
Walk or workout every day
Gain 5 new clients
Send 10 pitches each day
Grow email list
Publish each week, post each day
Read 30 books this year
Read 15 minutes each day
You’ll be amazed how quickly habits start to change your life. And the result is the same – you’ll reach your intended goal. You may even reach it sooner. Consistency is the key to gaining expertise. And consistency means continued improvement as well.
The first workout won’t feel good – but you won’t get in shape with just one workout. Consistently working out is how you get in shape (and stay in shape).
The first interview will go badly – but if you don’t have that first one, you can’t have a second. And each interview or prospect call will get better. You’ll feel more comfortable and confident than the last time.
This theme of turning goals into habits is one that we see over and over in different forms. Here are 2 frameworks I’ve seen that speak to this habitual mindset.
Getting started with habit setting instead of goal setting can feel overwhelming. When I started thinking about turning goals into habits it looked something like this:
I want to be a writer, so I need to write for at least 1 hour each day.
I want to get in shape, so I need to work out every day.
I want to read more books, so I need to read for at least 1 hour each day.
I want to be an engaged mother, so I want to read to / play with my kids for at least 4 hours each day.
I want to focus on my love of cooking, so I will prepare a family dinner every day.
Being in nature is important to me, so I want to be outside for at least 1 hour each day.
I want to get 8 hours of sleep each night … I want to drink a gallon of water each day … I want to eat 5 vegetables and 2 fruits each day … I want to …
When I wrote this down the first time, overwhelm crept in. I soon ran out of hours in a day. I needed a way to figure out how I was going to build ALL of these habits – because I knew at the end of these habits is the mom, writer, and person I wanted to be.
Then came my lifesaver: Cara Harvey and A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast! She introduced me to Habit Stacking! Check out this amazing episode! And once you hear it, you’ll be hooked, so here’s the link to all the podcast episodes as well. The premise of habit stacking is to start small, or with one habit at a time. Then start adding in more over time. It sounds so simple but was an epiphany for me. Cara can take you through more examples of how to do this method, and how it can apply to all aspects of your life. To help you build the life of your dreams – one habit at a time.
Because life is a journey, and if you’re not living your best life every day, are you living your dream? How will you get there, if you don’t start today? And why wait? Building habits that get you to the life you want to live is the only way to live that life today.
What habits are you going to start?
Need an accountability partner to stay consistent? Reach out to me!