How Setting Habits Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Goal setting with habits this year

As we kick off the New Year, many of us will dive into the whole “New Year, New You” vibe that’ll slowly disappear come Valentine’s Day. We read, laugh and share many memes about setting goals and how our “resolutions” are short-lived, but why? 

Well first, let’s stop calling them resolutions because the typical meaning is resolving a problem. We don’t have a problem per se, what we are really looking for is change. Our own mini-revolution within ourselves. To change the way we think, the way we eat, the way we carry ourselves, you name it but ultimately it’s changing our habits that’ll pivot us forward to conquering the “New Year, New You” to its fullest. 

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One of the best ways to make sure you follow through with your intended goals for the New Year is starting a habit (or better yet, quitting bad ones).  “Routines are only made possible with doable habits. If habits are out of reach, routines will not be made, and it leads to frustration and lack of action.” says holistic habit coach and co-founder of Alta Coaching, Kat Best. “That’s where the importance of building good habits and sticking to them to achieve your goals comes in. It is easy to set a goal. The hard part is actually getting there.” 

Here are three steps Kat Best shares with Sass: 

Set a realistic goal.

This is the outcome, the big picture and the end result of your hard work. Examples of realistic goals include: lose 10lbs, get stronger, get more sleep, be more present, improve gut health, learn boxing, etc.

Know the reward

This is the reason why you want to achieve your goal and the main motivating factor. Examples of rewards include: improved mobility to reduce joint pain, end the yo-yo dieting cycle and eat intuitively, have more energy to play with your kids and feel less anxiety.

Create a list of habits

These are the specific actions and behaviors that you will do to hit your goal. These must be realistic to what you know you will actually do. Examples of habits include: eat 3 different vegetables per day, meal prep dinner for weeknights, lift weights 3x per week, drink 25oz of water between meals, no screen time after 9pm, walk 1 hour per day, etc.

How Setting Habits Can Help You Manfiest Your Dreams

So how do you make the changes?

But how can we adjust and help our minds shift to actually conquer those goals? Not all of us can quit or start something cold turkey. “The best way to incorporate your new habits into your day is to stack them on top of already existing habits that you have locked down,” Best explains. “For example, drink 16oz of water while you are brewing morning coffee, stretch on the floor while you watch TV at night, go on a walk while making a phone call to a friend.” she continues. 

And what about those bad habits? How do we break those? “If you want to break a bad habit, you should come up with a replacement habit so you still have a new behavior to focus on instead of relying on willpower” explains Best. “instead of mindlessly eating from the snack box, measure portions and put them in a separate bowl. Set an alarm 20 minutes earlier instead of skipping breakfast. Instead of ordering takeout, stock your freezer with prepped meal options.” concludes Best. 

They say it takes 21-days to form a habit so, so I encourage you to take a deep breath, sit down over your favorite coffee or tea, and ask yourself what two to three habits are you going to incorporate into your daily routine for the better and what habits are you going to eliminate? Take your time, trust the process, and don’t be too hard on yourself, after all you got this!  

Ashley-Victoria Smith
Ashley-Victoria Smith

Serial entrepreneur, celebrity publicist, published author, swimwear designer, and creative director. Currently resides in the Queen City with her two rescue fur babies indulging in coffee, a good book, and Marvel movies.

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