Habits vs. Goals (Which is more important?)

I have always struggled setting goals because I don’t know what I want. Anyone relate?

Without knowing what you want… you can’t really set goals.

But without a goal, it’s difficult to begin taking action. Because if you don’t know your “why” behind your decisions, you aren’t making any specific progress.

So what’s better – goals or habits? Let’s find out.

Daily Habits

I’m a big advocate for developing good daily habits.

Writing is something I enjoy. It’s something I can do every day. I don’t always have a hyper-specific goal in mind when I write, but it’s still a great daily exercise for me to do.

I do not think having some big grand goal is necessary to begin. If your idea isn’t perfect right away– don’t be afraid to shift, change, and adjust as you learn and grow.

The only thing you can control is what you decide to do today.

If you aren’t taking action, your goals aren’t getting any closer.

What you’re practicing today does not need to be your “final thing.” Taking a step in any direction is going to begin the momentum you need to progress.

Steps for Growth

Here is my recommended route (that I wish I would have done sooner):

  1. Learn everything you can possibly learn from the position you’re in. (From your job, career, social environment, class, education)
  2. Once you’ve hit your “max” experience, move on to learn a complementary skill. (A job with more expansion opportunity, a new environment of people, an online course, etc.)
  3. Continue that cycle again and again to build your craft.

If you do this long enough, you will have built up great experience and can decide what you enjoyed most. This is an example where taking action is beneficial if you don’t have a goal in mind.

Especially when you’re young, what you learn from a job is more important than how much money it pays.

For example, what I learned from my first job at a movie theater is still useful to me today.

I learned how to:

  • Show up on time
  • Work with others
  • Interact with strangers (customers)
  • Manage stress
  • Interview for a job
  • Quit a job
  • AND pop some fire popcorn

Then came the ski resort, where I learned to:

  • Greet customers and ask them questions
  • Overcome my shyness
  • Be friendly to customers amongst “chaos”
  • Work on skis / snowboards

Actionable Steps

Even if you aren’t set on doing it forever, start doing something you enjoy doing today. This thing doesn’t have to become your job or future career. It doesn’t have to directly align with your “life goal.”

Begin trying new things to determine what you do and do not like. As you learn more, you can move to something else – or find new ways to leverage your existing experience.

This is a good route if you’re still in the research and development phase of life like I am!

Setting goals is important…

But creating habits and learning skills today that align with that goal is even more important.

Goals are easy to set, action is difficult to take.

Which is more important to you? Comment below and let me know!

This is issue #004 from my weekly newsletter, The Stoke Seminar. To receive these emails directly to your inbox, sign up for free.

Thanks for reading! To stay updated, follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

–Eric P

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