Hey fellow goal junkies! Welcome back. As promised, I’m breaking down the three types of goals I’m focusing on this year. The first one is…
The Habit Goal.
This goal is a practice that you want to continue regularly and build into a habit.
- Daily Quiet Time/Bible Reading
- Work Out three times a week
- Eat Healthier
- Set a budget and follow it.
- Volunteer once a week.
Mine for the year is to have daily quiet time. I will admit, “daily” actually means on weekdays and I’ve missed a few days here and there. But that’s ok! The reason you set goals is because you want something new in your life and if you regiment it too much, I’ve found it takes the joy out of it.
My habit goal last year was to work out three times a week (or 12 times a month).
Here are some tips that have helped me with my habit goals:
1. Choose just one.
Developing a habit is a lot of work! Don’t overwhelm yourself. As one goal slides, it’s super easy to give up on the whole lot. Furthermore, when you succeed with one thing, it gives you momentum to keep up the good work or even add to your plate later.
2. Fit it into your routine.
Research shows it takes 21 days to form a habit. In addition to repetition, I’ve found that building the habit goal into your routine is very effective.
For my daily quiet time, I do it in the morning when I wake up or if I’m running late, during my lunch break. Both times are built into my day, so rather than adding something else onto my list of to-dos, it’s already a time that exists that I’m reallocating to something that matters to me.
If you have a goal that isn’t daily (i.e. working out three times a week), try to make the days you work out as consistent if possible. I do a boot camp class every Monday with my husband and a Zumba class every Wednesday with one my friends. Sometimes plans get changed around, but for the most part, that’s my priority on those days and it makes getting to the gym three times a week so much easier when two of the three workouts are already on the calendar.
3. Do it with people if applicable.
When you’ve told someone about a goal or are trying to achieve it together, you’re much more likely to follow through. It’s super easy for me to bail on going to the gym by myself (because I’m so tired, or it’s just too cold to go), but if I’m meeting a friend there, I’m bailing on that person and know that I need to go and my excuses are stupid.
4. Keep it interesting.
One problem with habits is that they can get stale. Even if you’re doing the same thing over and over, you can make it more exciting or change it up!
For my daily quiet time, I’ve been studying the Psalms. I have a journal that I dedicate a page for my notes on each Psalm I’m reading and add the date to when I read it. Seeing these pages grow encourages me to keep going.
Furthermore, at the end of the month, I’m taking a break from the Psalms to do a Lent study from Sacred Holidays. Seasonal celebrations always catch my interest and taking a break from my normal reading will make it feel new and help me be more excited to jump back into the Psalms after the Lent study without having given up on my goal.
As for working out, keep it interesting by trying a new workout! Maybe go to a new class, try a video or online workout or train for a 5K.
Those are a few of the ways I’ve kept on track with my habit goal. What habit are you forming and what’s helped you?