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Make a Habit Of Achieving Your Goals

The power of written goals is well known. However, as we all know, we do not achieve our goals by merely writing them down – we also need to take appropriate action, and do it consistently. That’s where habits come in.

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I experienced the power of habit first hand, when I was struggling to get started with writing my book. I followed my own advice and set goals that were not just SMART (Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Realistic – Timely]  but PURE [Positively Stated – Understood – Relevant – Ethical] and CLEAR [Challenging – Legal – Environmentally Sound – Appropriate – Recorded] as well. But while I loved the idea of having a book to my name, and earning bragging rights of being a published author, I somehow never felt able to get started with writing it.

Until my coach pointed out to me – that maybe I should just work on making writing a habit. That was indeed a turning point. I started with a modest goal of writing for 10 minutes every week day immediately after breakfast. After struggling a bit, I found myself doing it with consistently. That’s when I gradually started increasing duration, until I was writing consistently for an hour. I then added another session (with a 5 minute break for getting off my butt, stretching, hydrating and resting my eyes) and soon I was writing for 90 minutes every weekday morning.

While it took me some time to figure this, it’s not really surprising. In fact, I would go so far as to assert that habits are rungs on the ladder to success – to achieving our significant goals

Habits are rungs on the ladder to our significant goals

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While setting goals is very important, it is good to remember that we do not achieve our goals merely by setting them. We need to take action. And that’s where we stumble most, because taking action requires

  • Motivation
  • Willpower
  • Overcoming our limiting beliefs

More importantly, taking action seems like a lot of work – and we always find other things that seem a better use of our time, attention and energy at a moment in time.

That is where habits come in. Habits make it super simple to take consistent action. Once we form a habit, the doing of it literally becomes a no-brainer (actually, it moves to a part of our brain where we do not need to consciously think when taking action). This significantly reduces and eventually eliminates our resistance to taking action and thus sets us on the path to achieving our goals.

Habits help us achieve our goals by making it super simple to take action

Some examples of how people have  successfully used habits to achieve their goals include

Goal : Complete the  half-marathon at Bengaluru in 2016

Habit : Run for 90 minutes 5 days a week

Goal : Achieve target healthy weight of 68 kg in 10 months

Habit : Walk 60 minutes 5 times a week

Goal : Grow business 3X this financial year

Habit: Make 3 sales calls every week-day

 

While one may  agree that habits help us move closer to our goals, it is also obvious that building new habits can be very difficult. For instance, in the marathon example above, if you’ve never run seriously before, building a habit of running for 90 minutes may seem impossible.

Actually building new habits can be quite simple. While simple does not always mean easy, there are a few powerful strategies that make developing new habits easy – almost. I’ll cover some of these in my next post.

Setting goals, and writing them down, is indeed very important to achieving success in every area of our life. However merely setting goals is not adequate – we need to take consistent action. By leveraging the power of habits, we can overcome our resistance, and take action consistently – ensuring that we are continually moving towards our goals.

 

Have you harnessed the power of habits in achieving significant goals in your own life?

What are some of goals that you are currently struggling with? Do you think  these might become easier to achieve if you could install appropriate supporting habits?

 

Image credits: Fransesco Gallarotti on unsplash.com; fudowakira0 on pixabay.com

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Narayan Kamath
 

I'm a Leadership Coach and Mentor. I help successful leaders take their leadership to the next level. My mission is to make positive and significant impact in the lives of at least 100,000 people by 2020 - by helping them unleash their true potential to achieve greater success and fulfilment - at work, and in life.

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