Have you ever set a goal for yourself and then watch it fall flat after just a few days or weeks of effort? We start this process with the best of intentions. We are going to go to the gym 4x per week, drink more water, practice more self-care, or save money. We make all these promises to ourselves, yet it seems hard to achieve the desired results. We lose momentum and revert back to our old ways quickly. Maybe it’s time to approach goal setting in a new way.

Why Just Setting Goals Isn’t Enough

The problem with these types of goals, while we always mean well, is that there is no system established to ensure you can accomplish what you want. We state the goal, rather vaguely, and start trying to do that thing. Show up at the gym. Grab some water on your break. Take a bath on a Saturday night. All great actions, but little consistency.

Goal setting

A new, effective method of goal achievement is to stop focusing on the goals themselves and, instead, focus on creating specific habits that can help you consistently show up for your goal each day. Instead of saying you will “go to the gym,” create a habit to attend a HIIT class M-W-F at 9:30. Instead of “drink more water,” establish a ritual where you keep a water bottle at your desk at all times and set a daily consumption goal. 

When we break things down into tiny, actionable habits we are much more likely to follow through and keep going. It makes your goals manageable

The Effect of Small Habits on Goal Setting

These small habits can make a big difference in your achievement because they help you to establish consistent, positive behaviors that add up over time. By focusing on small practices, you can create a ripple effect that leads to significant progress and achievement for any goal you set for yourself. 

Try this system with your next goals and you will see these positive side effects:

Momentum: When you consistently engage in small habits, you build momentum that helps you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Each day will feel like a success rather than waiting for a big win when you complete the end goal. Even if you start with a small habit, the momentum you create can lead to bigger and more significant changes over the months and years that follow. 

Motivation: Small habits can create a positive cycle of behavior that reinforces itself. For example, if you make a small habit of going for a run every morning, you may find that this leads to improved mood and energy levels, which in turn motivates you to engage in other healthy habits like eating well or meditating.

Overcoming Obstacles: Small habits can help you overcome resistance to change. Often, we resist big changes because they seem overwhelming or too difficult to achieve. However, by breaking down goals into small habits, we can make them more manageable and less daunting.

Goal success

Developing Discipline: Consistently practicing small habits requires discipline, which can help you develop discipline in other areas of your life. This can lead to increased self-control and willpower, which are essential for achieving long-term success.

Building Confidence: As you make progress through small habits, you build confidence in yourself and your abilities. This can help you tackle bigger challenges and take on more ambitious goals, leading to even greater achievements.

Try this system the next time you have a big goal (or small) goal in mind. You will set yourself up for success when you make each day a win. If you are interested in creating some new, healthy habits to reach your goals, check out the MOXY 21-Day Better Habits Challenge

March 08, 2023 — Wendy Parker