Why Building the Correct Habit Is More Important Than Having a Goal or Dream in Life?

Create a lifestyle that enables you to become the best version of yourself

Ravin Rau
Writers’ Blokke
5 min readApr 12, 2021

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

What are your goals/dreams? To have a fit body, have a balanced lifestyle, become a millionaire or travel around the world?

Are we force to have a dream so that our life seems to be a little more meaningful? Frankly, do we need goals/dreams to have a great life?

Take games as an example. Games are exciting to play because of its quest and stories. Life is something similar. Our goals and dreams are our life quest.

The goals that I have determines the type of person I want to become.

But just having a goal in mind doesn’t make us achieve it, we need to take the necessary step in building the correct habit to achieve our goals.

Most of the time, we have temporary goals. For example, you can have an intention to lose weight and go on a diet for a few months, and once you achieve it, you feel proud of yourself. Then, you start with a new goal to learn a new skill. A few months later, you notice you start gaining weight again.

Then goes the cycle again where you have a goal to lose weight.
So, instead of setting a goal to lose weight, we can have a goal to have a healthy lifestyle. The difference between each goal is that one is temporary, and another one is a lifestyle change, more towards building the correct habit to lose weight.

So how do we really build the right habit for anything?

The answer that I have is heavily inspired by the book Atomic Habit by James Clear. The method on how to build new habits.

1. Start With the Small Steps

First, understand that you can’t change your attitude overnight, and if you can, that attitude will not last long. Before you can reach or achieve your goal, you would have given up and go back to your old habits.

Start with small baby steps. Like how games have multiple levels to make you engage and motivated, the same goes for building the correct habit.

Make it so easy that you will never say no to do it daily. Imagine going to the gym for the first time and run in the trek mill for 5 km. You will either torn out or never visit the gym anymore.

That is because your body muscle is not ready for it yet, same as that your motivation towards building the correct habit is not ready yet.

Make it easy enough that you can get it done even without motivation.

2. Continue Building With Incremental Changes

Slowly increase the habit bar as you go. An improvement of 1% to be better every day can improve in the long run.

James Clear calls this The Power of Tiny Gains.

You may think 1% every day does it give much of an impact, but if you understand the power of compounding you will be shocked what 1% a day can do for a year.

The important rule here is you have to be consistent and do it daily.

Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced daily; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.

3. Make It Into Small Chunks and Make It Easier Again

Mistakes that everyone makes once they accomplish the first two steps are over committing themselves to their habit and getting burnout.

It is important to take note of your limits too. Make sure you don’t overcommit yourself as you are progressing daily.

Keep your habit reasonable so that you can maintain your momentum and motivation. As we discuss in the first rule, make sure you keep your habit as easy as possible to accomplish it.

Let’s take jogging, for example, the first day you start with 500 meters and gradually increase to 2 kilometers. You realize that you are getting more tired than before. Instead of forcing yourself to continue doing it, you can break down the habit even smaller.

You can have different jogging segments, as in the morning and evening, or a break in between kilometers like a rest walk. These will encourage you to keep up with your habit daily and maintain your motivation to stay committed.

4. If You Fall, Fall Forward, and Rise Back Up

You should not have the all-or-nothing mentality. No humans are perfect. There are times where you might miss out on your daily commitments, but that doesn’t mean you fail in your habit building.

Remember, you are trying to be consistent, not perfect. Research has shown that missing your habit once will not impact your long-term progress. Make sure to bounce back to your habit and continue it.

Remember, you are trying to be consistent, not perfect

James Clear suggests a way where you must never miss twice in a row.
If you miss your habit once, make sure the next day you are able to get back on your habit.

Small progress is also enough to achieve your daily commitments. Focus on building the person you want to become without missing a habit twice.

5. You Are Not Running a Marathon, It Is a Journey

Finally, don’t rush. There is no point in building a habit in a rush. You are constructing a habit for long-term growth, so be patient about it.

Being patient and building a habit with ease will result in incredible progress. The day you plant down the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.

Enjoy the progress, and you will be amazed at how remarkable you can become.

Start doing something good today so that your future self will thank you for it. It all starts with the first step, so don’t hesitate to do it.

These are a small portion of what I learn in Atomic Habits. I would recommend the book to you if you are interested in more methods and step to build the correct habit and lifestyle. If you have already read the book before, do comment on which method you have implement in your life.

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Ravin Rau
Writers’ Blokke

Curiosity makes exploring more interesting. A JavaScript avid with so many questions about life.