Why Habits Are So Much More Effective Than Goals

Curtis Zimmerman

Curtis Zimmerman

Empowering Individuals and Organizations to Live Life at Performance Level

Happy 2019!

If you heard my conversation with my friend Craig in my most recent podcast episode, you heard the secret to making 2019 the best year of your life. (If you haven't listened to it yet, check it out here.)

No, it's not goal setting, and it's not future-casting. As much as I'm an advocate for those things, Craig helped me to realize that making positive change in our lives isn't just about the goals we set: It's about the habits we form.

For example, Craig has written 16 books. Want to know how? It's not because he decided to write 16 books one New Year's Day: It's because he disciplined himself to wake up every morning, read for 15 minutes and write for 30 minutes.

We’re not all Craig Heimbuch when it comes to sticking to habits. But whether you have lofty goals that you never reach or consistent habits that you faithfully implement, I want to encourage you this year to think more about your day-to-day habits than your 2019 goals.

Creating a habit is no easy task. How many people do you know who buy themselves a gym membership in January as part of their New Year's resolution, only to stop going in February?

Why is this? Why is it so difficult to make ourselves do the things we claim to want to do? (And why can't we all be Craig?)

I'd say it's because we aren't response-able. So many of us claim to have control over our actions, but in reality we spend most of our time just reacting to the world around us. So instead of waking up and letting the world tell him what to do, Craig tells himself what to do.

Too often, we let our iPhones, our laptops, our tiredness or even our family tell us what to do and hushing the inner voice that tells us what we need to do. But you can break the cycle!

Rather than setting a big goal for 2019, start a habit tomorrow, and make it small. Maybe you challenge yourself to wake up 10 minutes earlier. Maybe you read for 15 minutes before you go to sleep. I'm not going to promise that waking up earlier will form a new "early bird" habit for you, but it may wake you up to the benefits of starting your day on time and not just rushing to everything throughout the day.

Who knows, you may find out that it's nice to be able to finish your morning cup of coffee, to sit and think and prepare for your day for a moment, or even that traffic isn't as bad when you leave earlier.

If nothing else, challenge yourself to fight against old habits this week, to be response-able. Think before you act in every moment, and you will be amazed at the life you can create.

Happy New Year!

The post Why Habits Are So Much More Effective Than Goals appeared first on Curtis Zimmerman.

This is What's Really Causing the Retail Apocalypse (It's Not Amazon)
Want to make it out of the retail apocalypse alive? It's time to stop blaming Amazon and start focusing on your customer experience. If any part of your business is brick-and-mortar, there is a threat facing you that could tank your sales--if it hasn't already. And it's not Amazon. It's employees who were never trained on how to interf...
Read More
5 Ways to Avoid the Summer Slump
For many of us, the dog days of summer aren't a particularly motivated time of the year. It's hot and humid in many parts of the country, so much so that we start to drag our feet in our daily routines--and it can have negative effects on our productivity at work. According to a study by Harvard Business School, increasingly sunny days are di...
Read More
Curiosity Advertising Knows That If They're Not Having Fun, They're Doing it Wrong
"If we're not having fun, we're doing it wrong," he told me as we passed by the bobbleheads of his team members. Five minutes after I met Matt Fischer, I knew I had to have him on the podcast. He's the CEO Curiosity Advertising, an ad agency in Cincinnati with a culture that isn't just ping pong and beer kegs (even though they have those)--it...
Read More
Forget the Corporate Ladder: It's Time to Put You First in Your Career.
When it comes to navigating your career, it's almost never a straight climb up the corporate ladder. There are always hard decisions to make, goals to reconsider and challenges to overcome. Maybe you were anticipating a promotion that you didn't get, and now you need to decide whether to stay in your current role or start applying at other c...
Read More
Want Better Office Culture? Have More Fun and Shorter Meetings.
Trying to create a better office culture? In episode #21 of The Next 24 Hours, you'll hear practical ways to do just that. Does your workplace ever feel divided between teams or dead in the enthusiasm department? You have the power to change that with the right tools. In episode #21, I'm bringing on company culture transformer Joy Van Pa...
Read More
Change Management is the New Leadership
Change is the new normal, and change management is the new leadership. Every company and every organization that I've worked within the past few years has been undergoing major change due to technology, restructuring or rebranding. And they're not just making changes for the sake of change--they're making changes because it's a matter of life...
Read More
In 2019, the Power of Advertising is in the People
Advertising--in the traditional sense--doesn't work anymore. Have you noticed? In general, trends in 2019 don’t start because executives sat in a conference room somewhere and came up with a campaign--they grow organically among pockets of teenagers and corners of the internet. Rockstar brands notice this and map out their marketing strategy bas...
Read More
In My 20 Years as Speaker, This Was my Greatest Honor
PHOTO: (L-R) Trustee Lev Kubiak, President Michael Victor, Curtis Zimmerman, Cole Prots, Taylor Cavaretta, Rachel Hull and Maddie Weitz. WHEN THE PHONE RANG Last fall, the phone rang in my office. I was greeted on the other end of the line by the ever-sunny Sarah Allen. She's the Director of Campus Involvement at Mercyhurst University, where I'v...
Read More
In 20 Years as Speaker, This Was my Greatest Honor
PHOTO: (L-R) Trustee Lev Kubiak, President Michael Victor, Curtis Zimmerman, Cole Prots, Taylor Cavaretta, Rachel Hull and Maddie Weitz. WHEN THE PHONE RANG Last fall, the phone rang in my office. I was greeted on the other end of the line by the ever-sunny Sarah Allen. She's the Director of Campus Involvement at Mercyhurst University, where I'v...
Read More
In 20 Years as a Speaker, This Was my Greatest Honor
PHOTO: (L-R) Trustee Lev Kubiak, President Michael Victor, Curtis Zimmerman, Cole Prots, Taylor Cavaretta, Rachel Hull and Maddie Weitz. WHEN THE PHONE RANG Last fall, the phone rang in my office. I was greeted on the other end of the line by the ever-sunny Sarah Allen. She's the Director of Campus Involvement at Mercyhurst University, where I'v...
Read More