Having goals does not help, build habits

Many amongst us have taken a New Year Resolution about losing weight. Once the hangover settles down on 1st January we sign up at a gym, buy new shoes and sports wear. We force ourselves to go 5-6 times in the coming days mostly out of guilt as so much money has been spent and the world has been told about the New Year resolution. And within few weeks we are back to our style. Surprised that how all clothes are shrinking at the same time. Why do New Year resolutions fail? We tend to set goals which are far more about our ability or knowledge and when there is little progress we get frustrated. We rely too much on self discipline .

Forcing yourself to gym dozen of times is unlikely to make you lose weight. Its the same way like you force yourself to work for 20 years expecting to become rich. Eventually our energy and discipline runs out. So you get back to what you were when you took the resolution.

Whats the process then? Invest your limited focus and energy on building habits rather than specific goals. We don’t focus on habits. Goals always sound sexier? I will lose 10 kgs. We get motivated at the thought of looking good with 10 kgs less. There’s a clear image of a certain result in our head and that gets us excited. Habits are long term and repetitive and that makes them boring. Goals are one time bargain. Thats why so many people gain back to where they were pretty soon after losing initially. With habits, on the other hand, there’s no single endpoint that must be reached. The only goal of habits is that the goal is never over, it’s a simple daily or weekly repetition that one does until you’re now performing the desired action on autopilot. With habits, after a while, it feels harder to not go to the gym than it does to go.

Invest your energy and discipline to focus in building a habit. Weight loss will automatically happen. And exponentially other targets will be achieved which you had not even thought about when you set the goal first.

July 10, 2019

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