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Simple Exercise to Get into the Habit of Hitting Your Goals
by On July 29, 2008

Everyone has habits. We have good habits and we have bad habits. You might not even classify some of your actions as habits, but keep this in mind: Anything that you think, say, or do more than once is becoming a habit. It is impossible to QUIT a habit. A habit must be REPLACED.

So, how do we replace a habit?  Most research today says that it takes 21 days to form a habit and 21 days to change or break a habit. This is why most people fail at changing a habit; it takes a consistent, mindful and sustained conscious effort.  Forming a habit is not 21 days over the course of a month; it is 21 days in a row. This causes us to go outside of our comfort zone for 3 weeks straight, and most of us do not like being outside of our comfort zone.  Why?  Because it is uncomfortable!

A Critical Habit – The Habit of Hitting Your Goals
One habit that gets overlooked quite often is the habit of hitting your goals or the habit of not hitting your goals. You may be in the habit of not hitting your goals and not even realize it!! Here is a simple test:

  • If you have hit your goals more often than you missed them in the past 3 months then you are probably in the habit of hitting your goals.
  • If you missed more goals than you hit in the past 3 months, then you are in the habit of missing your goals.
  • If you didn’t have any goals in the last 3 months, you need to get in the habit of creating goals!!

Take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror for this. Especially, if you are in the habit of rationalizing why you didn’t hit your goals. Goals should cause you to stretch, but if you are consistently missing your target you stop believing that you are going to do what you said you will do.  The side effects are catastrophic as you slide down the slippery slope of this habit.   Progressively, you develop new habits of not having integrity with yourself and then not having integrity with those around you.  Let’s get a new habit right away.

Simple Exercise to Get into the Habit of Hitting Your Goals
How can you apply this knowledge to your life?  Here is a simply exercise you can start today and form the habit of creating and hitting your goals. For the next 21 days, each day, set a minimum of 5 goals to accomplish by the end of the day. Get in the habit of hitting everyone of them. The goals should be super simple such as: only hitting the snooze bar once, saying “I love you” to your spouse two times before you leave the house, reading for 10 minutes before you start the work day, doing 13 push-ups before getting in the shower, answering all emails before lunch, making one cold call before 9:00….you get the idea.

The point is not to turn all of these activities into habits, in fact you should change these goalseveryday so that its fun. Don’t use things that are already in your normal routine, mix it up. The point is to have a checklist of achievable goals that you have complete control over and you can’t blame or point the finger at anyone else.

Always set each day’s goals one day in advance, for example set Monday’s goals on Sunday, not on Monday morning. Write the goals down on a piece of paper and physically check each one off upon completion. Keep each piece of paper for the entire 21 days so that you have concrete evidence that you are in the habit of hitting your goals. And when you achieve one of these small goals, make sure and congratulate yourself. Give yourself a little pat on the back.

I would love to hear feedback from you. If you attempt and complete this exercise please post a comment and let me know how it went for you.

Be Free!

Tom Weber
VP of Sales

  1. Bonnie Fountaine

    Hi Tom, I love this! I have slipped a bit in my goal setting AND obtaining. This is just what I need to get back on track. Once I have established the habit of achieving 5 goals per day for 10 days I think I’ll throw in something that is a bit more of a stretch each day, but not to uncomfortable….you know, just to increase the reward of accomplishment a little at a time so at the end of 20 days I’ll be ready to tackle something more meaningful. Fantastic idea! Thanks again.

  2. loren

    Hi Tom…

    Wanted to follow up. Yesterday was my official 21st day, but I am continuing to do this. I think I got into a trap of creating a “to-do” list vs daily goals, but either way, it felt great to cross them off knowing I got it done. I have a mini notebook to keep it up. It was also helpful because by writing down my goals everyday, I was able to uncover the things that are most meaningful to me.
    Now I am certainly in the habit of writing down and reviewing my goals daily which is a bonus from this exercise. Super great! THANKS!

  3. Ishaa

    hey Tom,
    your write up on ‘Hitting Your Goals’ was really helpful! thanks a lot and i’ll practise it everytime i set a goal for myself ( which is actually hard!)
    thanx again..useful advice!

  4. Suman

    Thank you so much..

    I have been a very indisciplined person… I am going to start this exercise from tomorrow.. will write down my goals today.. will report to you on the 21st day..

    Thank you.

  5. avidhiker2

    Okay, it’s Monday night and I’m setting five things to do on Tuesday. I used to set and achieve goals but lately, my mind and action has been on sabbatical. Thanks for the reminder!

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