Goals, Tasks, and Habits

This is the time of year that many of us reassess our previous goals and begin to create new goals for the coming year.
We will be much more successful in reaching our goals if we have a clear vision of those goals and the steps it will take to reach them.  After all, if you don’t know what it is you want, how can you get it? And if you don’t have plan to get there, how will you arrive?
For this reason it is helpful to understand the difference between a goal, a task, and a habit.
Goals are something you reach, and once you’re there….you’ve done it.  A goal is not ongoing.
And a smart goal is one that is specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and time oriented.
A task is an action step, possibly a baby step towards achieving a goal.
A habit is definitely ongoing.
So as an example, let’s say that my goal is to take a trip to France for my birthday celebration in April.
I may create a list of tasks associated with achieving this goal, they may include things like finding an online travel website and subscribing to their newsletter, opening a savings account specifically for building a travel fund, enrolling in a french language program, planning an itinerary, choosing a hotel, and making a dinner reservation at La Coupole, etc.
I may work towards this goal by making a habit of saving a certain amount of money out of each paycheck and attending my french class each week.
Once I celebrate my birthday by eating birthday dinner at La Coupole I have achieved my goal!  Time to create a new goal!
Authenticity is an important key to creating and achieving goals that produce the desired effect of having a joyful experience!  Why do you want this goal?  Who will you be when you achieve it? How will it affect the rest of your life?  Why is this goal important to you now? How do you feel when you picture this goal accomplished?
Authentic goals are not just about what you do or what you have, but most importantly they are about who you are.  Accomplished goals that are authentic to who you really are will be met with a feeling of joy. Finished tasks are often met with a feeling of relief or accomplishment, and healthy habits tend to growth, whether it is financial growth from developing a habit of saving or personal growth connected to a personal habit.
Here’s to choosing the healthy habits, and accomplishing the tasks, that will help you reach all of your goals for 2010, with ease, and with joy!

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