• Dr. Denise Dennis

Habits > Goals: 3 Reasons Habits Are More Important Than Goals

While goals are important, habits may actually be more important. There’s a lot of info out there about goal setting. Businesses routinely create goals and a lot of people start the new year with a list of fresh goals hoping to make positive changes in their lives. Goals are important. They represent ideas, hopes, and dreams. If you’ve set goals before you know the excitement of creating a vision and setting your sights on achieving it. Setting goals is important, but goals don’t mean anything if you don’t develop the habits to reach them. Here’s why:


  1. Goals are Inspiring, Habits are Sustaining

  2. Goals are Complex, Habits are Easy

  3. Goals are Finite, Habits are Endless

Let's look at each of these in more detail:


Sustainability is more important than inspiration: Goals can be very inspiring. Dreaming up new ideas can get anyone excited about the possibilities. In the goal-setting phase, nothing is off limits. As the saying goes- if you can dream it you can do it, right? Not always. Goals are very inspiring and can get you motivated to make changes, but as soon as the motivation wanes, so does your inspiration. Habits are more important than goals because they create something sustainable. Creating, engaging in, and adopting a habit morphs it into something automatic that you can do whether you are inspired to or not. Brushing your teeth doesn’t require inspiration, it simply happens because it’s a sustainable, routine hygiene habit.


Ease is more important than doing things the hard way: Goals are complex because they don’t take into account roadblocks, unforeseen issues, or how realistic their achievement is. Goals are easily abandoned when they get hard because there isn’t a system in place to reach them. Habits are easy because they are small. Done consistently, they become effortless. Building a system of habits may take time, but in the end it’s easier to get where you want to go by adding easy-to-do habits together.


Building a lifetime of good habits is more important than reaching a goal: Goals are finite. If you decide to run a marathon, your goal ends with the finish line. If you develop the habit of running each day, you have a life-long health habit that surpasses the goal of running a marathon. Setting a goal to make a specific amount of money by a certain due date is a great goal, but developing the habit of making consistent income and saving every time you are paid builds wealth.


Having goals is a great thing, but it’s more important to build habits that help you reach and surpass your goals. In the end, you can’t reach your goals without developing key habits that make it possible.


For tips on creating new habits that stick, download my free guide: Habit Hacks: Simple Hacks to Help You Build New Habits.


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