One of the keys to reaching a new goal is to have habits in place that support that goal. If your current habits are counter-productive, you'll need to change them or run the risk of coming up short.
How do habits help you reach your goals?
Suppose you have the goal of running a marathon: if you don’t already have the habit of running regularly, you're unlikely to be successful until you can adopt that habit. Running regularly can help you attain your goal in several ways, including getting you in great physical shape and strengthening your endurance.
Identify the Habits You Need
Before you create new, positive habits, you’ll want to figure out which habits will help you attain your goals. For every goal, there are habits that can practically guarantee success. Reflect on your goals and what actions you can take to help bring them about.
Consider these attributes for the habits you want to implement:
1. Look for daily habits. Habits you practice each day are much easier to put into place and keep than those that are less frequent.
2. Keep it simple. The more complex the task, the less likely you are to stick with it. If you really do need to implement a complex habit, start with a simpler version and then add more complexity later.
3. Be specific. It's not enough to just specify what you're going to do; include the how, when, and where as well. Time is always critical when creating a new habit. Be sure to specify a precise period of time in which you wish to implement the new actions.
So "I'm going to exercise 1 hour per day" is inadequate. "I'm going to swim from 6-7 am, Monday through Friday at the YMCA" is more like it. This has enough detail to be quite clear about what you want to accomplish and includes the how, when and where.