Habits for Success: Achieve the Goals that Matter
When you work to achieve the goals that matter to you, you need to come up with a plan to create habits and routines that will work. Using habit stacking will get you closer to your goals faster.
So often, we set out to hit these big goals and fall short. We’re told DREAM BIG and REACH FOR THE STARS but we go about achieving these goals the wrong way.
I’ve been there. I’ve created an ‘all or nothing’ mentality way too many times in my life. Maybe you’ve been there too.
You’ve created these grandiose statements about how you’re never eating sugar again, decluttering your entire house in one day, or finally sitting down to write that book you’ve always dreamed of (which you of course plan to finish in just one month).
Making big goals and not creating a system to attack them is just setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve ever started a diet on Monday and by Wednesday are back to your old habits because you’ve ‘fallen off the wagon’ than you know what I mean.
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Habits of Successful People
When successful and productive people make habits, they do it strategically. Yes, they dream big and make huge and mighty goals (because playing small never served anyone) but they also come up with a PLAN to get things done.
To create habits that really will produce results and get you to your goals, you have to make them concrete. It doesn’t do you any good to say that you’ll ‘eat better’ or ‘read more’ or ‘be happier’. Those are just words tossed up in the sky. You need to put a concrete measure on what you really will accomplish.
Change ‘eat better’ to ‘eat 5 servings of veggies a day’ and ‘read more’ into ‘read 2 books a month’ and ‘be happier’ into ‘have coffee with a friend each week, take a dance lesson every month, or go on a solo vacation’.
Writing down your goals in such a way that you can measure will set you up for tremendous success. When you know exactly what you’re shooting for you can create a plan to track your results and take steps to achieve it.
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Habit Stacking and Creating Routines
But how do you actually make a plan that you’ll stick to? How can you take your goals and DO SOMETHING with them without quitting?
Enter habit stacking.
Habit stacking is the #1 way that I’ve seen success with my goals and the way I teach all of the women I work with to go after theirs. Instead of trying to change everything overnight, you need to pick small pieces of the goal to tackle each week.
Let’s go back to the weight loss example. If you’ve decided that you want to lose weight and eat healthier, you might decide overnight that you will only drink water, eat vegetables at each meal, eliminate unhealthy carbs and stop eating after 5 pm. Where you set yourself up for failure is when you try to do them all AT THE SAME TIME.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to change and do better but, if you truly want to make lifestyle changes and achieve long term goals, no one says that you have to make all of the changes overnight! By breaking them down into smaller habits, and really developing those habits as part of your day to day routines, you can create systems in your life that just becomes second nature and impact your long term.
So, if you’re looking to get healthier and lose weight, you might want to pick one of those small goals to work on for 1-2 weeks. Take 2 weeks to just focus on your water intake. Don’t worry about any of the other stuff and put all your efforts into doing one thing really, really well. You’ll become a water expert, hitting your water goal won’t feel as hard after two weeks, and you’ll be able to celebrate the small success and win that you had.
After 2 weeks, now that you’ve tackled that goal and it’s become second nature, ADD in a second small goal. For the next 2 weeks, you’ll not only focus on your water intake (which won’t be as hard to achieve since you’ve mastered it these past two weeks) but you’ll focus on eating one serving of vegetables with each meal. Focus on that for two weeks and then add your next small goal.
Will it take you longer to get all of your habits down? Maybe. But by tackling your goals this way you’re more likely to not quit along the way because you’re trying to change too much too quickly. This way you’ll start to create habits that last you a lifetime and not just for the short term. And you can celebrate the little wins along the way!
When you’re on your way to achieving your goals, how can you stay motivated?
Well with habit stacking, it’s not as tough. I suggest using a goal tracking sheet to mark down which habits you’re sticking to. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a gold star or needing to check a box to stay motivated in the beginning.
As you are tackling these new habits and making them more part of your lifestyle, external motivation will be a big part in keeping you going. After a few weeks of seeing success with your ‘little wins’, these habits will become more internal and you won’t need to track them each day.
But to start, don’t hesitate to track! Tracking will keep you focused, help you see the big picture, and allow you to applaud yourself for your success. Without tracking, it’s so easy to miss a day of your new habit and completely stop. When you track your new habits, you get that little reminder of what you need to get done and that little push to keep going!
So this week, break your goals down and pick 1 thing to focus on and get really great at it! Comment below with what you’re focusing on this week and keep me updated!
Want to work on being more productive? Download the weekend checklist to get started (and just pick one area to focus on this weekend)