Advent Calendar Blog 2022 – We are what we repeatedly do

For a long time, I believed that the way to improving one’s self, was to set goals, carve out a plan and a realistic timeline to achieve them and then set the plan in motion. Like many, it was my belief that people began the process of changing by focusing on what they wanted to achieve .

But what if the outcomes you achieved had very little to do with the goals you set, and a lot more to do with the systems and processes you had in place to achieve them?

Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.

James Clear – Atomic Habits

Now, here’s the part where the other shoe drops for me. Achieving a goal is only a temporary solution.

Reaching the goal only changes your life for a moment. Take the teenager with the messy room as an example, who decides that her room will always be clean from now on. She spends a weekend putting it back together, hanging up the clothes, doing laundry etc, and is so proud of her efforts she posts photos on her Instagram. She has achieved her goal, but unfortunately, unless she changes her habits, like not putting things back in their place, decluttering and letting piles accumulate etc, she will be searching for motivation to clean up the mess all over again, next month. She will be chasing the same outcome, because she never changed the system behind it.

A habit, like making your bed every morning, is a behaviour that has been repeated enough times that it becomes automatic. I didn’t always make my bed, but I started appreciating coming home at the end of the day and walking into a tidy bedroom so much, that I started making it more often in the morning. Now, I make my bed everyday.

Tying the habit to a positive emotional outcome increases the likelihood that you will stick with it. Taking 3-5 minutes in the morning to make my bed, gave me such a positive feeling when returning from work that I chose everyday to look forward to that payoff.

Another proven method for developing a new habit is to tie it to something you already do. For example, if you want to start meditating regularly, tell yourself : « After I pour my cup of coffee in the morning I will close my eyes, and take 3 deep breaths and meditate for 1 minute. » Then, maintain that habit until you feel you can gradually build on it, and so on.

The following daily habits may help you achieve more happiness in your life, and they may already be part of your systems.

  • Smile. You tend to smile when you’re happy. … 
  • Exercise. Exercise isn’t just for your body. … 
  • Get plenty of sleep. … 
  • Eat with mood in mind. … 
  • Practice gratitude. … 
  • Give a compliment. … 
  • Breathe deeply. … 
  • Acknowledge the unhappy moments

Todays Journal prompt: Two of my daily habits that bring me satisfaction are…..

Intention for todays meditation: today, I will prioritize what matters most .

Published by Sylvie Rancourt

I am an intuitive and experienced leader and come naturally to coaching. I have spent the last 20 years helping individuals get unstuck, to achieve their goals and objectives. I enjoy interacting with new people and helping them to disengage from the minutiae of situations to see the bigger picture. These conversations inevitably lead to inspiration and it is quite a feeling to finally know what you want to achieve and see the path to get you there. Many individuals I have helped just needed a plan to stop wasting their energies and have more focus, while others needed a bit more time and we customized sessions suited to their needs. In all cases, we achieved positive change in either their professional or personal lives.

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