It is no secret that many influential and successful figures in society have stressed the importance of “goal-setting.” But what about “routine-setting?” A goal is a collection of routines that guide us on the path of achieving our goals.
A goal without action is nothing more than a wish. It is a something we “want” and not necessarily something we “will” do.
Goals are typically abandoned because the daily routine necessary to achieving a goal was never laid out.
How often have you told yourself that you “need to lose some weight before summer”? Like most people, probably a number of times. To achieve this goal you need to take it one step further – “I am going to lose weight by eating healthier foods and drinking less soda.” By framing your goal in a routine, you have given yourself something to actually do each day –eat healthier and drink less soda.
Not only does this help you achieve your goal, but it helps you manage your expectations. Failing to achieve your goals hurts. By setting routines, your failures along the way are easier to process and help you to bounce back. Realizing that you drank too many sodas one day is less defeating than realizing you didn’t lose that weight before pool season. It can serve as a motivator and keeps everything in perspective.
Remember, a goal is what we usually envision for ourselves as a task or duty, which we will conquer sometime “down the road” or “later in life”. Instead of coming up with a surefire way of promptly getting things done we prefer to write a list of what we “might” do someday, even if we have no real procedure on how to get there. They feel good to think about and you might even give yourself a pat on the back, but if you don’t realize and envision the steps to achieve that goal you have set yourself up for failure.
Humans are creatures of habit and we need to continually repeat routines in order to achieve goals.
A change in lifestyle is often required to create a new routine, unlike a goal, in order to see desired results. Habits are not as easy as goals because they require work and gratification comes only after blood, sweat, and tears.
A goal is something you either want to be or want to conquer, whereas a routine is the actual effort required to turn that “want” into something real. Be deliberate in your goal setting and be consistent in your routines. Start small and use those victories to motivate you as you set out to achieve greater goals.