Just a few weeks ago, with the start of the new year, many resolutions were undoubtedly being made—resolutions like wanting to lose weight or be “healthier” or get organized or save more money. And, as we’ve all either seen or experienced, most of these resolutions won’t last that long.
One common characteristic of these popular resolutions is how vague they are. What exactly does it mean to be “healthier?” And how do you know if you’re on track? This is why some advocate for SMART goals—goals that are specific, measurable, time-bound, etc. Saying you’ll lose 10 lbs. by May or pay off your credit cards by April is much more clear than saying you simply want to lose weight or be better with money. You know exactly what needs to be done by when and can plan accordingly.
This is good if you choose to create a goal. A specific target is better than a vague intention. And for some, having specific goals at certain times can be helpful. They may provide inspiration or direction. But there’s something even more important than whether or not you set specific long-term goals. And that’s your habits.
It’s what you do day in and day out that will ultimately influence the course of your life. Over the years, it’s your habits that will affect your health, your work, your relationships—pretty much everything. So instead of focusing on ambitious goals for down the road, I’ve grown content to focus on the habits of today. How am I daily investing my time? Are my habits and routines sustainable? What kind of person are they shaping me into? Are they helping me grow as a person, teammate, friend?
Habits and goals are not exclusive. If you have goals you want to achieve, you will still need habits that are in alignment with them. But even without specific, measurable, long-term goals, your habits lose none of their importance. It’s the habits of your days that affect not only where you go, but also who you become along the way.