The Subtle Difference Between Goals and Habits

When I was younger, I always insisted on writing my goals out. I want to achieve this by a certain date, accomplish this task within the hour, get to this level in my career. Write write write. Daily goals, yearly goals, goals I wanted to achieve later on, just always goals.

The issue that came from this was how I scheduled my time. I always tried to segment daily activities into hourly allotments that I never could fully achieve. I was asphyxiated by own devices. I disappointed myself when I could not meet deadlines and felt stressed that work was not calibrated to the way in which I had written it down. When I allotted 15 minutes for yoga and meditation and only could get 6 before having to take a phone call, my goal was changed and my mindset was disrupted.

This is where habits come into play. Habits form when repetition occurs. Constancy in day to day actions that become a natural tendency in one’s life. When altering my mindset to adapt into habits rather than vying for goals, I now could see that much more was able to be accomplished. It is an indefinite work in progress, but one I find extremely helpful when becoming more productive in my personal life and my business life.

An interesting aspect I found with habits is that when you break it down to its smallest level, you often work beyond that level. For example, I have created a habit of flossing at least one tooth a day. You might be saying, “Brant, you dumbass. Dentists recommend that you floss your teeth, not your tooth.” However, through creating the habit of flossing one tooth directly after I brush, I have inadvertently flossed all of my teeth after. You see as humans, once something is already present, we are more likely to complete it. I wouldn’t throw away my floss now just because of the fact that it’s already out. However, the habit of just flossing one tooth has actually lead to my increased oral hygiene.

Think of a process or a way in which you could apply this to your personal life, school life, or professional life and how quickly it could change your productivity.

 

Wishing you the very best. And as always…

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

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