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Goal focused vs Habit focused.

Habit vs goals infographic

Like many people in business, I have goals. I use and rely on them in lots of different ways, in my work, my home, with clients and with my family. I feel I achieve more out of life when I am working towards a goal. They keep me focused, keep me working hard, moving forward. They help me decide on what to work on when. However, I watched a ‘you tube’ video yesterday, that has made me question this narrow focus on goals.

This month Inspirante Business Book Club is reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. I have read it before….so as a reminder to get me inspired I thought I’d take a look at some of his video appearances. In an interview with London Real he says the habit is more impactful when it comes to achieving success than being goal focused.

He suggests that building great habits will lead to more success than obsessing over your goals.


It’s all down to our inability to act on the goal. Most business people have goals, how many of them achieve the success they want?

Rob Jardine, Head of Research and Solutions at the NeuroLeadership Institute South Africa said in a recent article. “The stats are scary. We all have goals, and yet 78% of the time those goals don't lead to a change in behaviour, which means they can't be realised. The science is clear. If you want to achieve your dreams, you need to start by changing your habits.”

By focusing on the goal, we miss the small but important daily activities that must happen to achieve success, the actions that build up over time to achieve the result.

Take losing weight for instance, its not focusing on the weight number that makes a difference (although it might inspire you.) We already understand it’s the focus on moving more and eating less calories that matters. The small changes you make each day (putting your trainers on and going for a walk, eating an apple rather than a chocolate bar) that if repeated will eventually add up to the big/ long term results.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Will Durant

Even better if those small activities are repeated enough over time, they become habits. (Definition - A habit is something you do without thinking, an automatic reaction to a trigger.)

I didn’t realise until I looked into this more, as an automatic reaction a habit takes less #NRG to complete. Meaning you have more #NRG left to do other things. Ever wondered why the very successful person you know fits more into the day, seems to be constantly on the go, has more #NRG? Well, the above might explain the differences.

Another common trait of the uber successful person is the ability to build positive habits and erase negative ones. Removing the habits that are distracting them from the goal gives time to focus on the positive habits needed to achieve.

This week I’m going to focus on my habits, fancy joining me? Do you know what your habits are? Can you recognize some of the activities you do automatically? Are they helping you move closer to your goal or are they detracting you? Once you have identified a habit that is distracting you or a habit that might be missing. Let’s work on building the habit. (More on this next time.)

“What we do today, echoes throughout eternity.” Marcus Aurelius



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