We talk a lot about hard work and achieving goals. But there is a way for it to be easier and to become a better part of your life. By making your goals into habits. Some goals are designed to be put into a routine, such as eating healthier or exercising, and others require a bit more creativity to incorporate into our everyday. So how do we create a routine with our goals in mind and stick to it?
We must make our goals into habits.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a very good book to read if you want to learn about habits and how we can change them. The basic principle of the book is that habits are created through what Duhigg describes as the “habit loop.”
In the habit loop, there is a cue, which is the signal to the brain to do something, the routine is the brain going into “autopilot” and doing that something in order to be rewarded, the last part of the loop.
With me so far?
So the cue is triggered by a craving. Let’s take sweets for example. You are feeling peckish, which means it is time to eat. You crave something sweet, so you go for a cookie (routine), and the reward is feeling satisfied. What you need to do is change the routine. When feeling like having a snack, instead of reaching for the cookie, try reaching for a sweet fruit. You’ll sweetness craving will still be satisfied and so will your hunger.
We do the things we do because our brains are always looking for rewards. Achieving rewards produces those nice chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. This is why thinking positively about your goals instead of looking at them like work is also important. If achieving your goals feels like work, you may start to feel unsatisfied while working towards them, which isn’t rewarding.
Start looking into behaviors. Why are you not exercising? Why are you not writing? Is there a fear there that you can identify? Or maybe another negative feeling?
The main thing that keeps us from being productive is fear, no matter how small. I recently read You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, which helped me identify some of the problems I had been having with living life being my best self for me. I keep trying to please other people and I let their opinions dictate my actions. I was doubting myself and not living my best, awesome life (which she addresses in the subtitle). The book takes you through why you have been acting the way you do to how to become a complete badass and be yourself.
How does this relate to making our goals into habits and routines?
When we erase the doubts and start doing, that’s when we can create better habits. You won’t doubt you’re writing ability and you will begin to enjoy your work. You’ll want to do it every day. This will help create a progressive routine towards the goals you wish to achieve.
So by switching your cue to procrastinate because you fear working on your goals to become your best self into actually doing and achieving, that’s where success lies.
I really recommend reading both of these books yourself and getting what you can benefit from out of them. I thought they were great for me, and I only gave you the very dummy-downed basics.
See for yourself how great you can become by making your goals into habits without the fear of failure.