April 22 2022
Habit or Goal Part 2
Building on the previous post about whether or not you want to build a habit or accomplish a goal, that also can change as you progress through something. For example, your weight loss/health journey may start with the cardiologist saying “drop 30 pounds, big guy, or you’re in trouble.” (Or perhaps the pre-op nurse doing an EKG, as a *purely* hypothetical possibility.)
You need to hit the goal, but then transition your choices to developing a healthier lifestyle.
Or perhaps your goal was to become mostly famous as a blogger, build that into a writing career and have loads of influence. You may discover that the path is fraught with peril and that you have to go down roads lacking integrity to get to the fame and fortune. Or that someone else has filled the niche and there just isn’t space for you to be rich and famous, too.
Either way, it may be time to rethink the goal and ask if there is a habit that you want in place of being a famous blogger. Maybe you want to substitute sleeping, reading, or using your writing time to encourage and strengthen whoever may read it rather than trying to be famous from it.
You can keep pursuing the fame and fortune as a goal or you can make a different habit. I am actually not really intending to advocate for one or the other here but just noting that some may find the habit a better thing in the long run than accomplishing the goal.
Maybe your goal is to save a great historic treasure, like a building or a long-standing high-school tradition or event. Or should you encourage people to have a habit of remembering well the past and honoring it by engaging in meaningful events now? Or by holding on to some of the older physical reminders and honorably removing the rest so that there is a focal point?
Ask yourself: is the goal to retain a building or to encourage the habit of remembering?
The overall point I want to make is that sometimes we can lose ourselves in chasing goals. We can become so goal-driven, task-oriented that we miss the fact that there are people involved in the world around our goals.
There are other people in your life, and they matter. Are you using them to accomplish your goals? Should you use people? Or are they benefiting from you growing in healthy habits? Are they encouraged or embittered by your pursuit?
There is also a key person in this: you. What are you becoming in pursuit of your goals? Consider the affect on your energy, your enthusiasm, the other aspects of your life in pursuit of your goals and decide if it is a price you really want to be paying.
And especially for the Christian: are you growing in your walk with Jesus as a result of your behaviors? Or are you increasingly alone and chasing something that will be a feather in your own cap?
Either way, it is something to consider: do you want the goal or do you need a life change? Some goals are good: getting CPR-certified is a goal, having a habit of performing CPR on random dummies isn’t necessary. Other habits are better: a degree is good and (sometimes) necessary, but lifelong learning is a better habit than a 4.0 GPA.
Don’t give in to the pressure that you have to do only one or other.