242. How To Be Awesome At Focusing On Habits Over Goals

Once a year I re-read the best habits book there ever was, Atomic Habits, and always have new take aways.

I’m so inspired and motivated by the way James Clear takes the concept of BIG GOALS and breaks them down into habits.

We are going to be hyper focused on our daily habits more than our long term goals.

Now the goals are the North Star, but the daily habits are what are what moves the needle - so that’s where we put our attention.

By getting clear on what is important to us, it becomes easy to ask ourselves..

What would a person like this do?

If you want to be a person who avoids distractions - ask yourself, what would a focused person do to avoid distractions right now?

If you want to save money, what would a person who wants to spend less do?

If you want to lose weight, what would a healthy person choose right now?

It’s SO MUCH easier than having these massive goals you try to keep your eye on.  Instead, decide the type of person you want to be in different aspects of your life and set-up your daily habits and make decisions based on this.

It’s genius!! 

-I just read Atomic Habits again and have two HUGE take aways to share with you.

First, James Clear is a genius when it comes to habits and he breaks it down so it’s so useable.  He also sites lots of other experts and says most of these ideas aren’t even uniquely his- he’s just putting them altogether so we can make the best plan.

2 things….

I want to be the type of person who

What would a person who is _______ do right now?  Or do today?

RATHER than the big goals…

How do I want to spend my days?
What type of person do I want to be?

Rather than I want to lose 40 pounds - it’s I want to be the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts.

GOALS- we set unrealistic goals - we set arbitrary targets then we get bummed when we don’t hit them.
Goals can play with our minds!!

That’s why we think… what type of person do I want to be… and are my actions supporting this?

What would a healthy person do?

HABITS over goals

Write down your overall goals then have your habits check lists for the day.  Small things you do everyday.

Increase sales - make 100 calls a day.  ACTION! 

Optimal health
Optimal fitness
Romantic relationship with your spouse
Write a book
Run 500 miles this year
Have close relationships with girlfriends

And then plan in the habits on the daily that support these things.

I realized last year I had a few BIG GOALS in my ideas book- but to be honest - they sat there.  I never made forward motion on it.  It was like this big goal that I was going to get to- but never did.

It’s often not these HUGE big life moments that move the needle.  It’s all the little things

When I decided I wanted to get my sunless tanning line into the major retailers - every. Single. Day. I reached out to the decision makers.  I made movement in the form of a habit towards the big goal.
So the goal wasn’t this big scary thing - it was a target - but that’s not what we want to focus on - we want to focus on what we are going to do on the daily to support it.

SEASONS- James Clear talks about seasons.  Some seasons
When your seasons shift, your habits need to shift too.
If you have kids, things change. 
How do you perform at a high level under a new set of circumstances?
Sometimes things need a restructure.

All of this also helps you figure out
What are you optimizing for?
Is this REALLY what you want? Or society or what other people want for you?

*****Will my current habits get me there?

****How am I contributing to the situation that I say I don’t want?

Most of life is in your control!
Luck and randomness and misfortune play into it.
But we influence the situation more than we often realize.

****What season am I in right now?
Sometimes we outgrow seasons, sometimes we move on and need to realize that.
Maybe it’s going out to bars and drinking a few times a week. Maybe it served you for a time and no need to feel badly about it. But maybe this is a new season to focus on other things.

****Do I need to spend more time researching what I need to do? Better info?

****OR do I need to spend more time acting on the info I have?

Is the bottleneck strategy or execution?

****The question is not will I succeed?  The question is what should I attempt?
We can talk ourselves out of trying things that are worth attempting.

People often talk themselves out of things before they should.
We are usually the bottle neck before the world tells us it’s not working.
There is rarely no small action to take - there is always something else you can try.
We talk ourselves out of it.
Try to not be your own bottleneck.

CHEERS!! To planning your small daily habits to make BIG strides towards your BIG goals!!