From Goal-Setting to Habit-Setting

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about goal-setting lately. I want to make sure my goals for 2012 are as motivating as possible.

It is just that time of year. People are reassessing last year’s goals and setting new ones. They are making new year’s resolutions to make changes in their lives.

Almost a year ago I set out to change the way prayer had a part in my life. I had horrible prayer habits that I wanted to change. The name “prayer habits” popped into my mind and I took action.I set up this website and started writing content for a launch in March.

I’ve been hesitant to admit it, but subconsciously the blog Zen Habits by Leo Babauta had a big influence. I am not a religious reader of Zen Habits, but I do love the concept.

This week I listened to a new podcast by Adam Baker from Man vs. Debt where in interviewed Leo. The topic for episode 2 was about goal-setting…actually it was about setting no goals at all. It introduced me to an exciting new concept: don’t set goals, focus on developing habits.

What really motivates us to achieve goals? Is it the goal itself or the habits that get us there? This is something that I think is worth considering and something I want to give more thought.

My big take-away from episode 2 of the Man vs. Debt Podcast and a series of posts on Zen Habits:

Enjoy a new habit while you are doing it.

I have been doing a poor job of praying in the morning. Why? Because prayer became an action I needed to check off the list. I didn’t take any enjoyment out of it. I was just going through the motions.

So, today I started to focus on prayer I know I can enjoy. This morning I prayed with some music. Music played a big part in my conversion experiences as a teenager and I still get chills when I hear certain songs.

Today I start a new habit: enjoy prayer.

Continue to research new ways to prayer and test what works best for me, but always enjoy it.

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