Setting Goals or Creating Habits?

It’s the time of year where everyone starts to think about change, about giving up bad habits and creating new positive habits. Traditionally at New Year we think about how this year will be different, we are filled with hope, optimism and excitement.

Unfortunately the statistics for New Year Resolution success are poor. Apparently only 18% of people succeed with their New Year’s Resolutions. There are a number of reasons why this happens but often it’s because people don’t understand if they are setting a goal or attempting to form a new habit.

There are two types of goals.

A Destination Goal e.g. Run a Marathon and
A Habit Forming Goal which will help you achieve it; i.e. Run for thirty minutes a day.

Why Set Goals?

I believe we need goals if we hope to achieve anything outside our normal routine. Goals inspire and motivate us to reach for something different. We need goals to give us direction. Without them our future is not within our own control, we leave our future to fate.

DJ Dave Fanning once asked me “What if we don’t want to change?”

I say fantastic if you are happy with who you are and where you are in life but in truth I don’t think there are many human beings that don’t want to improve even in some small way. To be fitter, healthier, leaner, stronger or even more positive.

But perhaps change is too big word, maybe we shouldn’t seek to change but to improve every day. There is always scope for small daily improvements.

Why Form New Habits?

Most goals that are set at New Year are attempts at new Habits. Good ones we are trying to make or a bad one we are trying to break. Either way we need to learn how to form new habits. Remember habit forming goals are what’s required to achieve your Destination Goal. If you don’t create a new habit of running your chances of running a marathon are slim.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure.“Jim Rohn —

If you think of your past attempts at changing your habits, was it a massive event that caused you to fail?

Most likely not, it was the decision to give it a miss one day, then a valid excuse another day and perhaps a cold or a headache the third day which helped you decide this wasn’t going to work for you. It’s the little errors in judgment, the thought that missing the gym just this once won’t make a difference and of course on that one day it doesn’t. But a succession of bad decisions or errors in judgment unfortunately does.

We go about our lives making these bad decisions thinking that it doesn’t effect the big picture but it does.
Each day we choose not to exercise, meditate, write or read makes us who we are and takes us farther from success.

Thinking that we would like to read more, mediate more isn’t good enough. Action is what matters.

“We are what we repeatedly do, Excellence therefore is not an act but a Habit” Aristotle

It’s our daily actions that make us who we are. Therefore if you can focus your attention on small daily changes in habit you are much more likely to succeed at anything in life.

Understanding this fact is your first step to New Year Resolution Success.

Are you planning on creating any new habits in 2015?

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