Habits vs. Goals: A Look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life - Deepstash

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Why habits work better than goals

Why habits work better than goals

  • Goals rely on things not always under our control like health and emotional stability. Habits are more automated & free up our brain for other things.
  • Goals rely on willpower and self-discipline. Once created, habits don't depend on motivation.
  • Goals have an end-point after which many people abandon that area because they got the reward of success. Habit is a long-term concept.
  • Habit is a lifestyle. Studies have shown our brain can confuse goal setting with achieving those goals, making us complacent. 

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Difference between Habits and Goals

Difference between Habits and Goals

  • Goal is an end-point. Habit is a daily persistent action. 

They each require different forms of action, like being fluent in a new language in six months is a goal, but practicing 30 minutes each day is a habit.

  • Habits influence our automatic behavior. They either help (good habits) or make it difficult (bad habits) to reach our goals more effectively.

Whether you have a habit of snoozing the alarm or keeping the alarm device out of reach can affect your goal of exercising every morning.

  • Goals are often the first tangible step towards an untangible desire (like success, wealth, health, happiness). Habits are automated actions working in the background to power our lives.
  • Goals rely on external motivation. Habits are automatic and literally rewire our brains.

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- Stephen Covey

"Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do)."

- STEPHEN COVEY

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Benefits of Habits

Benefits of Habits

A well-crafted set of habits ensures we reach our goals with incremental steps.

  • Habits can lead to overshooting our goals. A habit of reading a page a day can lead to reading more on some days, and so finish that book sooner.
  • After building a habit, it becomes easier to do that action than not doing it. Our brains actually change to make the behavior easier to complete.
  • Habits often add up to make us who we are. According to research, 40% of our waking hours are made up of habits. 
  • Keystone habits are behaviors that cause people to change related areas of their life. People who quit a bad habit are likely to end up replacing it with a positive alternative. Habits can compound.
  • Habits can be as small as necessary. Like, flossing just one tooth.

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Octavia Butler

"Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice."

OCTAVIA BUTLER

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Making growth a way of life

Making growth a way of life

With consistency, the benefits of habits compound and lead to extraordinary achievements.

The common daily habits of successful people prove that when we switch our focus from achieving specific goals to creating positive long-term habits, we can make continuous improvement a way of life.

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