The Benefits of Habits Over Goals

1 minute read

Creating habits has a number of advantages over goal-setting, even if you are trying to achieve a goal. Setting out to run every day is a more effective way of achieving the goal of running a marathon than trying to stick to a marathon training program.

What are the advantages of habits over goals?

  1. Habits are performed automatically. Once a habit is set, you don’t have to think about performing it. You’ll just do it automatically and may not even notice when you do it (depending on the habit).
  2. They’re easy to complete. Once you’ve established a habit, your brain rewires itself so it’s actually easier to perform the habit than not to.
  3. They compound over time. Over time, your habits can become your character.
  4. You can start as small as you need. You can start as small as necessary: floss one tooth before bed, read 1 page, run for 1 block. Once the habit is established, you can ratchet up the habit.
  5. They last for life. Once a habit is set, it’s very hard to unset. For habits we set intentionally, that’s good. It means that it’ll be hard for us to undo that habit.
  6. You can overshoot your goal. A habit like running every day can mean you overshoot your goal of running a marathon.

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Source: Habits vs Goals, A look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life

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