March 24, 2023



That is right. Stop setting goals.

Alright, I am playing this up a bit, but “goals” can be intrinsically problematic. 

I recently read about how goal setting doesn’t work. When I read that, I thought, WHAT?!! We all have goals, and some of us look at our list of goals every morning to remind us of all the wonderful things we want to do for ourselves!

In James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, he suggests that instead of setting goals, we create systems, “a series of small, continuous habits taking you in the desired direction”.

Achieving a goal is only a moment in time. Once you reach the goal, you may fall victim to the “yo-yo” effect. However, suppose you develop a system of healthy habits. In that case, you will continue to benefit from your efforts in the long term. Hold a goal in mind but focus more on the new habits you need to develop to achieve the goal. Think of them as habits for life, not just until the goal is reached.

Long-term, lifelong habits and systems work better than goals, which tend to be finite.

Don’t defer your happiness to the completion of a goal.

Committing to goals is a good start, but putting a well-thought-out system of habits in place will be critical to your success.

Do you have some goals? Do you have a plan for how you will achieve and stick with the desired goals? Will it require some new habits on your part? It may only stay a dream if you don’t have a plan. So write down a plan for how you will achieve your goal.

Say your goal is to improve your health or to lose weight. These are two of the most common goals people have.

Start by having a good look at your life. We know that a healthy diet and exercise are the two major players in achieving both of these goals. What habits do you need to change? What habits do you need to create?

Here is my system of habits I try to stick to: 

New habit #1 – Turn off the TV and go to bed earlier. (or read)

New habit #2 – Get up earlier to fit in a morning workout/walk etc….even if it is short.

New habit #3 – Make wise choices at the grocery store, making it easier to prepare simple, healthy, fulfilling meals.

New habit #4 – Don’t buy unhealthy snack foods. If I have them in my house, I will eat them. I will search for new ideas for healthy snacks.

New habit #5 – Drink more water.

“Considering that our habits create our life, there is arguably no single skill that is more important for you to learn and master than controlling your habits. You must identify, implement, and maintain the habits necessary for creating the results you want in your life while learning how to let go of any negative habits which are holding you back from achieving your true potential.” ~ Hal Elrod

My goal of staying healthy in mind, body and spirit depends on my system of habits. This includes my morning yoga routine, pranayama, meditation, and daily walk. All of this depends on my habit of going to bed early so I can awaken early enough to fit it all in. It is not always easy, but I try my best. That is all we can do.


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