Using goal setting for habit changing - Rethink Central

Using goal setting for habit changing

by | Jan 15, 2013 | Goals, Habits

“With such a tight affinity, it’s not a bad idea to view your habits in terms of your goals.”
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Which comes first: goal setting or habit changing?

Well, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation when you think about it.

You can have one on its own, but you’re sure to discover that either will eventually lead to the other. With such a tight affinity, it’s not a bad idea to view your habits in terms of your goals.

So which comes first?

Actually, it can be either – just decide which makes the most sense to you. Then incorporate some strategies to maximize both.

Goal setting first

A few months back, we focused the whole month on goal setting. And, if you’ve been an avid reader, then you’ve already got your goals very clear and written down. For anyone who needs a refresher course on their goals, take a look at this post: Goal making, or rather, goal breaking.

Either way, you’ve got goals, and now you need to adopt the habits that are going to help you achieve these goals. This could be the development of stunning punctuality, or perhaps you need to work on your time management skills. Whatever it is you need to succeed at your goals is the habit you want to tackle first.

Which could mean you need…

Habit forming goals!

Once you’ve identified a habit you need to have, you’ll need to set a goal to achieve it. Say you do want to improve your time management skills, this is a terrific time to employ the SMART goal making system. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (though you will find variations on that theme).

This system forces you to develop a specific goal, so you can determine when you’ve reached it. The good news is that habits form over 21 consecutive days, so you won’t have to work that long to see the results you want.

But then it’s time to set other goals, and develop other habits.

Fortunately, as long as you set goals and develop habits that are beneficial to one part of your business, you’ll see growth in other areas too. Not, such a bad deal, is it?

So, it doesn’t matter which you put first, goal setting or habit forming, as long as you realise the impact one has on the other – and use it to your benefit.

Take Action!

Before you leave this post visualise your goals very clearly and see if you can add a habit today to make them happen. What would bring them closer. Can you concentrate on one aspect of your goal each day?

And if you’re not clear on your goals yet – then check out these helpful posts on goal setting:

Goal making… or rather, goal breaking
Discerning goals from dreams
5 goal setting mistakes

And these on habit forming:

Are these 5 things holding you back?
Change your habits
3 habits every business person should have

For more business tips and tricks, keep yourself plugged in to our blog. We just love making your life easier.

And let us know below which you think should come first – goal setting or habit forming.


Oh, and we love cake too. If you’re a fan of cake (or chickens or eggs), you may just want to head over to our sister blog: Not Got Much In. You’ll find some scrumptious recipes and diverting food facts from our nutritionist.


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