Habits vs goals

Solving big problems often comes down to behavior change. How do I get someone to eat better, stop stressing, get more sleep, get in better shape?

“Goal setting!” is a common refrain. I disagree. The times in my life that have lead to lasting change are the times I built habits that then became a part of my identity.

That’s it.

In my humble opinion, habits lead to better long-term outcomes. Looking at you, morning stretch routine. They become a part of your identity.

I don’t miss my morning stretches often because – if I did – I’m no longer someone who stretches in the morning.

With goals you’re just changing who you are for a bit until you temporarily hit your goal. Then you’re back where you started, minus/plus having achieved the goal.

This is what’s worked for me: build a habit, don’t set a goal. Attach that habit to something you already do every day. For me, I stretch fresh after my morning shower. And (as best you can), tie that habit to your identity.

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