We all have things we want to accomplish and goals we want to meet. Whether that’s getting a good grade, improving our art, writing a novel, or winning a sports competition. I know that personally, looking at all of the goals I want to accomplish can be extremely overwhelming. Where do you even begin when you want to get good grades in all of your classes, improve your skills, and create things your proud of? I want to talk about goal-setting in the context of habit-making. It’s easy to say that you want to write a book, but it’s infinitely harder to make time every day to write even a few hundred words. There are habits that I’d still like to incorporate into my life, and there are habits that I’ve been able to develop, which have been so helpful. So, in this post, I’ll be listing some tips that have been successful in helping me develop habits.
#1: What do you want to accomplish? Why?
This one is pretty straightforward. What are you setting habits for, and what would your end accomplishment look like, feel like? It’s difficult to work hard towards something if you don’t know why you want it. Let’s use the example of writing a book. You want to write a novel-length piece of writing, but why? Is it because you’re so excited about a story in your head that you just can’t wait to see it come to fruition? Does the act of writing a book seem like exploring a potential future career? Do you really enjoy getting into that writing flow? Once you can pin that idea or feeling that makes you actually want to set this goal and see it through, you’ll have the momentum to start working and making habits.
#2: Time is everything
The one, surefire way to get better at something is to spend time on it! This is easier said than done, and that’s where the habit-making part comes in. Can you carve out 5, 10, or 20 minutes each day to write your book? My tip for this is to make it as regular as possible; that way, you’ll eventually start working on instinct, rather than having to force yourself. Maybe you can wake up 10 minutes earlier and write a little, or write a few minutes before bed. If you have a break between classes, or extra time during lunch, those are also perfect times to make writing a regular occurrence. For example, every Monday/Wednesday, I have a 2-hour break between classes. I usually do any last-minute homework or studying during that time, but without fail, I’ve made it a habit to sit down in the library after my pre-calc class and moderate for NMG. At this point it really has become instinctual, so there’s no way I’ll forget to moderate and get all of your art and writing up on the site!
#3: Create a goal timeline
When would you like to reach your goal? When is the most realistic time you might reach your goal? Once you know the answer to those questions, figure out the kindest deadlines you can set for yourself. It’s really saddening to set an unrealistic goal and find yourself unable to come close to reaching it, so think about how much time you can give your project every week, and how long that would take to get you to your goal. For example, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “I want my book to be finished in 6 months, so I need to write x amount of words every day,” even if you know that realistically, it would be hard for you to actually write x amount of words. Instead, try to think of it like “I can regularly write about y amount of words each week, and at that rate, I would finish my book in 10 months. I’ll make that my goal, instead.” Being able to actually reach goals will motivate you to stick to your habits in the future.
#4: Reward yourself
Keep track of how often you stick to the habit you want to form, and how often you deviate from it. If you can stick to your habit, for example, for a week straight, then reward yourself with something that you love, which is also something that’s easy to give yourself. Maybe if you write for seven days straight, you’ll let yourself watch a couple of episodes from your favorite show, eat a dessert that you don’t have too regularly, or buy yourself a favorite drink. It can be a real motivator to think, “I really don’t feel like writing today, but if I can just keep it up these next couple of days, I’ll get to have x at the end of it!”
I hope this post was helpful for some of you! I’ve realized that a lot of my posts on here have been about productivity, school, organization, things like that. They honestly fit together so well that I could call them a series! I want to try taking a break from these types of posts, and experiment a bit. I have a couple of ideas going in my head, but let me know if you have any ideas that you’d like me to write about. Thanks for reading!
My productivity series
Goal-Setting and Habit-Making