Are you sick of setting the same goals over and over again but never actually achieving them? I totally get it. Losing those last 20lbs, getting that promotion, paying off that last credit card, going a whole week with clean dishes.. okay now maybe I’m just dreaming.
But you can achieve these things if you:
- set the right types of goals
- stay motivated
- create habits and processes to get you there
Have you gotten your FREE goal setting sheet from the Resource Library yet? Make sure you grab it!
How to create habits
What is a habit?
I want to start at the very basic definition of a habit.
habit – a regular tendency or practice that is usually hard to give up.
Anything that you do automatically without thinking is a habit. Turning on a light switch when you walk into a room with no windows, even if the power is out.
How do you build a habit?
You may have heard someone say that it takes 21 days to build a habit. But experts say that it takes more like 66 days to actually build a practice that will happen without conscious effort.
SO you have to be intentional about changing your behavior. Every time it comes up you need to make the decision to practice your new routine.
Here are some quick tips to create habits:
- Start small. A little change will make a BIG difference in the long term. You may have to look at the big picture to notice it, but it matters. Plus, change is scary. Make it small, make it easy.
- When you slip up, don’t feel like a failure. Just pick up and get back on track. And do your best to do better next time!
- Be patient. It takes time. If you are trying to save money, put $1 into a jar every day. A dollar alone won’t feel like very much. But at the end of a year, you will have $365! Considering you barely even noticed the effort from day to day, that’s a lot of money! And $1/day is a lot easier to commit to than $30/month out of your budget isn’t it?
Create I process for yourself. If you have a specific way of going about things, you won’t have to think about making the right choice anymore. If you want to start walking more, start waking up 30 mnutes earlier and talking a morning walk. Listen to your favorite music while you do so you can have fun too!
What does creating habits help you create your goals?
I am a BIG planner. Like seriously, it’s insane how much I write down, outline, and consider every option and detail of things when I am considering them. It is way over the top. But by the time I actually do something, I know what is going on. I have all the information I need to get it done correctly. And if something comes up, I have a plan or a place to go to find answers.
So I love setting goals. And I love achieving goals. Being able to say that I said I would do something difficult that no one thought I could and then I DID…. that’s one of my favorite feelings.
I guess you can say that I enjoy proving people wrong. But what about when I don’t have that motivation?
Being accountable to yourself
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend reading (or listening to) Girl, Wash Your Face. There is a chapter about keeping promises to yourself that is really powerful.
And it is something that I am guilty of. Breaking promises to myself. As if I am less important than the other people in my life.
Because before I started to create habits to achieve my goals, I was really good at putting off my personal goals.
I would get all my work done ahead of time and probably ask for more. If there was a sales contest, I would win it.
But if I said I wanted to lose 15lbs. Or I wanted to write every day. I would start with the best intentions and by the next week I would have quit.
Does this sound familiar? Ahem. how are your new year resolutions going?
I had no accountability to myself. No one was there to prove wrong. No one was watching me keeping me on track. I wasn’t being paid to get something done. So I quit.
Achieve your goals
But that has changed. Now, if I don’t work at one of my goals it is because I have overpromised myself. I’ve spread myself too thin and something had to give.
Because when I took the time to create habits and processes for things, it became easy to get it done.
What did I do? Example, writing daily.
- I intentionally scheduled time to write
- Talked to my husband about what I was doing
- Found a community of like-minded people
Those 3 simple things that seem so straight forward are what got me here. In front of you.
And you can apply that to anything in your life. Seriously.
Do you want to have a cleaner house? I know I do! And this is my most recent habit building effort.
- Choose one area to start with
- Clean it up every time you leave it
- Don’t do it alone, get your family involved
We started with our kitchen. I now run the dishwasher every day, whether it is full or not. And I wash the dishes after every meal. The only things that sometimes wait until the end of the day is hand wash only items. But I find it easier to just wash them too because there usually aren’t that many!
I am constantly reminding my husband to put his dish in the dishwasher, not on the counter. And even my 2-year-old has been enjoying throwing his dishes into the sink when he is done. He also likes to help wash dishes, because he thinks faucets are cool LOL.
It has been about 2 weeks and as I sit here typing this, there is one dirty glass next to me from the milk I had with a cookie. And I will wash it on my way to bed soon. My counters are cleared off and wiped down. And it only took about 10 minutes after dinner. Because I washed dishes this morning, and after lunch. So all I had to do was slip things into the dishwasher and start it.
I have had a clean kitchen for going on 2 weeks. All by changing one small habit. I run the dishwasher daily. How cool is that?
As I said, this can be applied to any goal that you want to achieve!
What habit are you going to create to achieve your goals?