Habits v/s Goals

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We all have big goals, buying that house, shedding those 10 kgs, running a full marathon, travelling around the world, owning a BMW, taking the business to the next level, that corner office etc. but one cannot accomplish those without incorporating some ‘habits’.

Habits are algorithms happening in our background which power our lives. Good habits help us reach our goals more effectively and efficiently. Bad ones makes things harder or prevent success entirely. Habits powerfully influence our automatic behavior.

The problem with goals is that they have an end point, rely on factors on which we do not always have control on, relies a lot on willpower and discipline and can make us complacent or reckless.

Habits once formed, operate automatically. Habits are easy to complete and we can also overshoot our goals with habits. Habits can compound and they are for life. The best advice I have received to build a habit is to start small – say to read 10 pages a day, to exercise for 20 mns, to write 100 words each day if one has to write a book, to get up 15 minutes earlier than the previous day etc.  First we make our habits , and then the habits make us.

While goals rely on extrinsic motivation, habits are automatic. They literally rewire our brains. When seeking to attain something in our lives, we would do well to invest our time in forming positive habits, rather than concentrating on a specific goal.

So start with small habits to achieve your big goals.

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