Goals are easy to set, and even easier to break.
Doing anything extraordinary is going to require pushing on, even when you don’t feel like it. In fact, success depends almost entirely on your ability to keep going especially when you don’t feel like it.
That’s why most goal-setting and habit change experts recommend focusing on the tiniest of habits to begin with. Something so small, you couldn’t possibly not do it.
Instead of 100 pushups a day, start with just one. Instead of running five miles a day, start with around the block. Instead of writing 1,000 words a day, start with 100.
Whether you go the tiny habit route or not, the point is to engineer your habit change plan around your worst day, not your best. Plan for that day when you’ll come up with every excuse possible to talk yourself out of doing what you committed to today.
Further reading from friends of mine who spend a lot of time thinking about habit change:
- Sticking to a Habit: The Definitive Guide (Leo Babauta / Zen Habits)
- How to NOT Suck at Building Healthy Habits…FINALLY! (Steve Kamb / Nerd Fitness)
- 5 Common Mistakes That Cause New Habits to Fail (and What to Do About Them) (James Clear)