Are you frustrated with people asking about your long term goals? Where do you want to be in 5 to 10 years? You can’t wrap your head around the idea of setting big goals. Instead of stressing out about not having long term goals consider setting habit goals instead.
Maybe because the world hasn’t gone as expected in the past, setting big goals feels like a challenge. Stop stressing over the big picture if it’s not coming naturally to you. Build better habits in the meantime that could help you find the bigger picture. And maybe that bigger picture is as simple as living a healthier life.
What is a habit?
According to the dictionary, a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up”. It is routine of behavior you repeat regularly and may even do subconsciously.
What is a goal?
And then also from the dictionary, a goal is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” You have an idea of a future or the desired result you are committed to achieving with a plan to get there. And you’ve set deadlines to help you along the way to achieve your goal.
What is a habit goal?
A habit goal is a commitment to creating new behaviors you repeat regularly and may even do subconsciously. Instead of stressing over trying to have a long term vision or having a 5 or 10 year plan, focus on the immediate future and steps you can take to improve your life in the long term.
But do you have room in your life for creating better habits?
Most of us do.
In a recent Do It Scared podcast episode on goal setting, Ruth asked Laura Vanderkam about long term goals. Laura mentioned her husband isn’t a long term goal setter. And maybe this will strike a chord with you too.
What is interesting about setting habit goals is that while you might not know where the future will take you, better habits could put you on the path to get there.
For example, maybe you commit to reaching out to one new person regularly (daily) or taking a daily walk.
Or maybe you commit to reading more each day to expand your mind. Learning more each day could spark new ideas for the future. The path you can’t imagine now may become clear. Maybe you’ll see yourself making a career change in the process.
By committing to building your network, improving your health, or expanding your mind your long term outcomes are improved.
And these are not the extent of the habit goals that you may set, just themes and ideas.
A few tips for setting and habit goals
When you are thinking about habit goals, setting a goal is only as good as your commitment to achieving it.
Defined a reasonable habit you can achieve, start smaller if you need to.
Maybe you want to improve your health and wellness by taking a walk every day. Instead of trying to create a habit of walking 10 miles or 2 hours a day, start with a manageable sized walking goal of 15 or 30 minutes. If you haven’t spent much time exercising recently starting with a small step will also help build your endurance. And then level up in terms of speed or length over time.
Plan your habit goal into your routine
There is discussion back and forth on how many times you need to do something before it becomes a habit. Or maybe it’s actually as simple as ensuring you’ve intentionally included the habit in your regular routine.
By intentionally planning your habit as part of your daily or weekly routine, you have a better chance of creating a behavior you’ll stick to.
Get back to building your habit as soon as possible when your schedule changes
If your routine goes off the rails for the day, make sure you get back to doing the habit as soon as possible.
Once you break a routine it becomes easier to break the habit.
Breaking the routine that supports bad habits is a good thing. For good habits, you want to continue to keep in your life, rethink your routine if you need to make time for the better behaviors and actions.
Wrapping up. What other habit goals are you trying to build in your routine?
Habit goals have been a great way to take steps towards a future you can’t define yet, or build a healthier lifestyle. Maybe you need to add daily exercise to your routine, build your network, or increase your mind.
Pin for later