Set a Schedule Instead of a Deadline to Make a Habit Stick
Geege Schuman stashed this in Life Hacks
Making habits stick for the long term is tough. Oftentimes, we set deadlines for when we want to reach a goal, but over on the iDoneThis blog, they point out that it's better to set up a schedule instead.
The idea here is that in order to make your goals happen, you need to work for them every day. Whether it's losing weight by New Year's Eve, writing a book, or cutting down on chocolate covered snacks, the idea is to deemphasize that deadline a bit:
Instead of giving yourself a deadline to accomplish a particular goal and then feeling like a failure if you don’t achieve it, you should choose a goal that is important to you and then set a schedule to work towards it consistently. That might not sound like a big shift, but it is…
Productive and successful people practice the things that are important to them on a consistent basis. The best weightlifters are in the gym at the same time every week. The best writers are sitting down at the keyboard every day. And this same principle applies to the best leaders, parents, managers, musicians, and doctors.
Forming a habit is tough enough as it is, so if you're struggling, ditching the deadline might be enough to keep you from folding under the pressure.
This reminds me of Scott Adams' recent piece:
He says it's better to have a system than to have goals.
Because if we fail at a goal we feel terrible, but if we fail in a system it becomes feedback for learning.