It’s New Years Eve and people everywhere are drinking champagne, reminiscing about 2019, kissing someone good looking at the stroke of midnight and vowing to lose weight, save money, find a better job &/or read more books.

I used to be one of those people.

I promised myself that I’d get fit, lose weight, feed my family on $50/week, and read one business book a week.

Then I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions and traded them for SMART goals.

I’d sit down with my journal and make lofty goals with detailed plans to accomplish those goals.

And then I’d feel like dirt by mid summer when I realized that I was never going to accomplish my goals because they were far too lofty. So I’d quit. Then I’d feel like a quitter and that was worse than feeling like I wasn’t making forward progress on my goals.

Resolutions. Not my thing.

Goals. Just stress me out more.

So am I destined for a life of unfulfillment and mediocrity?

I don’t think so.

If you’ve struggled with setting big hairy audacious goals that just leave you feeling defeated too keep reading…


This year I’m replacing goals with habits.

Why habits?

Because big goals without little goals are impossible.

And little goals are really nothing more than habits.

So I’m trying an experiment this year where I’m working to develop and keep building on a few new habits in my life.

3 habits to be exact.

Habit #1: Taking Sunday’s off of work to spend the entire day (or at least 8 uninterrupted hours) with my family. As the owner of an outdoor retail shop weekends are my bread and butter, they are what keep the lights on for the entire week. But, here’s where training my employees and then trusting them comes in. After many long talks with my husband who often works 6 days/week we both decided that we’re on the brink of burnout and in danger of not making memories of adventures with our children. The time has come to strengthen my family and my marriage. Sundays are now blocked off my calendar for uninterrupted time with my husband and kids.

Habit #2: Taking Wednesday’s off of work to spend the entire day with myself. That’s right folks. I’m in the process of hiring someone now so I can go from working 7 days a week down to 5 and I’m going to take an entire day off for myself. If I’m knee deep in ski season I might spend the day on the mountain skiing and thinking. If it’s hiking season I might spend the whole day hiking and thinking. Or I might clean my house, cuddle up with a good book, plan an impromptu lunch date with my husband or spend the day blogging and working on all the HLAW tasks that I can never seem to keep up with. I’m not going to step a foot in my shop unless it’s a crisis that my staff can’t handle without me.

Habit #3: I’m going to give myself an hour every morning to do whatever I want. I’m an early riser (thanks to spending all those years in the Army) and I think and work the best between 5:30 and 7:00am. So, this year that time is mine. It might mean that I go to an early yoga class or I might write in my journal, or write a blog post if I’m feeling inspired or sleep in if I’m exhausted. Rest is allowed.

Based on the habits that I hope to create in 2020 you can see that I’m not planning a year where I work myself into exhaustion as seems to be the theme of my life.

No, it’s the year where I’m going to focus on my family, myself and rest. I’ll let you know how it goes.

“If you believe you can change – if you make it a habit – the change becomes real.” – Charles Duhigg

Will you join me in replacing goals with habits?

Happy New Year!

What are your wishes for 2020? Let us know in the comments below.







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6 comments on “Why I’m Replacing Goals With Habits

  1. So true! I have 4 health related habits that I am going to be working on all year! They are simple yet not part of my habits at the moment… hydration, eating more vegetables,
    30 minutes intentional physical activity 5 days per week, and taking time at least 1 day a week to distress and nurture my mentality.
    Like you, resolutions and goal setting just doesn’t work for me…

  2. These are great habits to work on. I tend to set goals for myself, but I like this perspective better. I’m going to make a habit of updating my financial spreadsheets every payday (2x/month) so that I KNOW whether I’m on track or not. I’m also committed to making the habit to get a hike/walk in every weekend. Good luck on your habits!

  3. I just read this and I decided not to make resolutions too! I decided I just wanna like my life and enjoy it, instead of the whole “make a plan/resolution” and never finish it than feel guilty for not succeeding. I’m so glad I found you and your blogs 😊

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