There is always this feeling of guilt when it is two weeks to your exam day, and you have not covered your syllables.
You feel like you have been cheating on yourself and your time, you feel your future flash in front of you as a failure.
And with that rush of adrenaline, you open a book you have never picked up all through the semester and cram 100 pages in one night.
Most of us achieve goals like this; doing what is right one-time, on the 11th hour. And most times, our life goals are not the same as our semester exams.
There is really no such thing as an overnight success especially if you are thinking longterm.
What we all want is that feeling of obligation/inbred motivation to pursue our goals.
That feeling of – “I need to get this done.” And trust me when you can automate this feeling for anything you want to achieve, the sky won’t dare to be your limit for any goal you have set.
But we cannot achieve our goals over and over again if we do not shift the focus from results to our personality, who we are, and our identity.
In this case, it would have been easier for you to finish your syllables if you saw yourself as someone who is responsible, has control over her future, wants to make the most out of opportunities, and not just anyone who wants to pass exams.
In the last blog post, I talked about why people do not achieve their goals.
We realized that goals are just where we want to be, but what about, how we want to get to that place, and what we are to do after we get to that destination.
We also established that to meet your goals, you have to create your motivation, and you can do that by breaking your goals down into minute chunks, and taking the most basic, ‘stupid’ actions that will build up that bulk of ass or help you achieve financial freedom.
So invariably, we are all talking about taking repeated little actions that keep us ahead of in our game, and if you agree with me (of course you can’t), what we are really talking about here are habits.
What are the habits that can help you achieve your goals?
Now I know the question that you are itching to ask – it proves you are a smart thinker.
How can SPECIFIC habits help people achieve DIFFERENT goals? – if your brain did not itch to ask this question, I take back my word, hehehe, yes, you were not that smart after all.
How habits work.
Studies estimate that habits make up for 40% of our behavior/daily activities, and I am inclined to understand that our belief of who we are and the actions those beliefs cause us to take makes up the remaining percentage.
Now imagine if your personality formed through repeated habits is making money, or having rock hard abs and firm glutes (staying healthy), or reading 40 books a year.
Remember that our habits are just a mere reflection of who we are and not who we say we are (belief comes first – then behavior – and then habits. You can’t get over your ex if you think you are a sore loser – just saying)
Come to think of it, why is it that the top earners, fitness models, sportsmen keep staying at the top of their games.
And just when we think that all the records have been broken in life, people like Jeff Bezos will hit 190.6 billion USD of net worth during a pandemic.
Michael Phelps, will go on to swim 200 meters in 1.42 minutes in freestyle, and it doesn’t even matter if people will throw all sorts of ‘they are lucky’ ‘greedy’ shades at them.
Habits are compounding, and when something is compounding, it means there is a likelihood it will invade other areas of your life.
Let us pick a bad habit; for example; a drinker only gets drunk, right?
But somehow, he ruins his health, loses respect from colleagues when he comes to the office smelling like brew.
He breaks his family, comes home late and pukes in the kids play court. His kids are not so proud to call him dad, oh, let’s not forget, he owes the bartender a fortune and cannot provide for his family’s upkeep.
And these all started with – one shot – a bottle – a bottle and a shot – and eventually, a carton.
You then begin to wonder how life at the bar managed to ruin finance, family, and personality.
Same thing happens with good habits. Good habits can help you achieve any goal because they have a compounding effect that improves other areas of your life without you having to work so hard on those areas.
Good reading habits can enhance your speech, your writing skills, makes you smarter. Becoming smarter increases your self-confidence and increased self-confidence helps you face tasks, improve your relationship with others, perform well at a job interview, become more empathetic, and increases your overall charisma. And healthy charisma (ego) makes people choose and refer you for responsibilities – more responsibilities – more connections – more money – more societal status and this list is not even about to end.
So, you see the benefits just from reading a page a day or a chapter a day…
How to choose habits for any goal.
While a habit can help us improve an area of our lives, you want to choose habits that has a compounding effect on other areas of your life.
If you choose habits that can better these underlisted areas of your life, you will not just improve them. But other areas too.
- You want habits that can make you smarter,
- make you healthier,
- and make you more money or at least help you save.
Hence, these are daily habits that should be part of your life.
PS: there is hardly a research that can nail the habits that are required to improve your life generally, but after reading a few articles here and there (by smarter people like Mark Manson, James Clear, and Naval Ravikant) and after applying a few myself…
I can confidently say these habits can help us become better in every area of our life or rightly put; these habits can help us achieve any goal.
It is also worthy to note that…
You don’t need to show up for your good habits every day to achieve your goals. But you want them to be on the winning team of your life.
“Your goal is simply to win the majority of the time”-James Clear Atomic Habits
Exercising habits can help with just any goal.
I really don’t want to repeat the cliché benefits of exercising which we already know.
But apart from improving our health, physical appearance, and overall self-confidence, exercising will help you build the habit of waking up early because you will have better and improved sleep.
Exercising helps to improve your mood, your concentration and ability to learn, and also, your sex life (Don’t forget, I’m still not a sex coach).
So instead of trying to reach the destination of waking up early every day, or becoming smarter, you can choose to exercise and gain the others as side benefits.
While I am the laziest person on earth to even do up to 10 push-ups, I will give you a quick pro-lazy-person-tip.
You really don’t have to register a gym to exercise.
But starting ‘stupidly’ as we said earlier, with 3 minutes of jogging, or push-ups, or sit-ups, or lifting a weight each time you wake up can compound effects in no time.
Example. 3 push-ups a day equals 90 push-ups a month equals 1095 push-ups a year. And trust me, on some days, you’ll feel less of yourself for just doing 3 push-ups, you are likely to end up with 5, 10, 15, 2o push-ups after two weeks of being consistent till you establish that sense of obligation not to miss your push-ups.
So, start simple, and make sure you challenge yourself to do those simple, ‘stupid’ repeated tasks.
The personality here is to be a healthy person, and trust me when I say that exercising prepares you for just about anything.
It is a habit that can help you achieve any goal.
Reading is a preliminary habit for any goal.
Or rather. Reading is preliminary for any personality you want to embody.
One of the reasons why my first kiss was not bad is because I will never tell you about my romance life.
But be that as it may, reading allows you some deal of experience in any area you wish to be good at.
It is through reading that you can feel the sand of a beach below your feet without going there.
In fact, it is the only activity that allows you to get into someone’s head just like you are in mine now (my clean head awwww).
Whatever area you want to improve on, investment, skill acquisition, relationships, kissing, you can get firsthand experience by reading.
And if you fail so badly on your first kiss because you read one guide on how to give a perfect kiss, then also know that actions speaks louder than words – dhuurrr.
We have already mentioned the ample benefits of reading and I will love to come in through another abstract angle.
Which is; good reading habits help you know and choose the right values for your goals.
Here is how…
With the increasing knowledge of our generation and decreasing attention span, people are becoming less and less of humans by forsaking vital values.
If you doubt me, you can read comment sections on Twitter and Facebook and I swear you won’t believe your eyes on the kind of things people support.
I am really scared for my future children because one day, they are going to read a comment that supports them to become less of themselves. (I wont give a vivid example because who knows, your values are different and I have no right to say anything about them).
Here is the catch, when you want to read, read foundational books, books that started civilization, books that started businesses, books that explain mundane principles of influence and communication etc.
It is just like learning Math; you start from the basic plus and minus and grow to complex arithmetic problems.
Come to think of it, knowing Math helps you become logical in decision making, speech, and in finding solutions.
When you read foundational books, it’ll be easier to discern what values are right for the goal you want to achieve, to discern from someone who actually knows what they’re doing from a mofo who is just using the leverage of internet to talk about what he has a vague knowledge of – like preaching that it should be justified for a woman to do anything she wants and get away with it.
Of course not, not even a man can do that. Ok, whatever, we all can do whatever we like, it’s your life.
Also, start by reading small. A chapter a day, or a paragraph after every pee, or after every meal, and in no time, you will read more books than you can remember.
The personality for making reading a habit that can help you achieve any goal is to be knowledgeable in your field – to make the right choices everytime – and not just because you want to be a reader.
Though these two are slightly different. The only way to be single ourselves from all the noise and actually understand the progress we have made and where we are heading to is by visualization and meditation.
I will focus on visualization because I am very much aware of it compared to meditation which I hardly practice.
Visualizing is seeing where you are going, who you want to become, what you want to achieve, so vividly that you experience the euphoria of speaking to a crowd as a guru, or hosting a cocktail party because you just built a million dollar business.
This is a way to revitalize your determination when faced with challenges.
Take time to see yourself the way you want to be. Don’t be scared about what other people may think (they always come back to you when you have achieved your goal).
And it is not enough to visualize. You need to treat yourself the way you see yourself.
Spend time on things that are driving you towards where you want to be in life.
For me, I like to attach monetary value to my time, like saying, “I am worth $1000/hr.”
This way, if someone brings up a discussion about how the ass of a celebrity is better than the air mosquitoes breathe, you sure as hell are wasting $1000 talking about a shit hole.
The more you see yourself and belief yourself to be a particular personality, the more you will be closer to becoming that person.
This also helps you identify quickly with people who want what you want and opens an avenue where you can help each other grow.
The personality for making visualization a habit that helps you achieve any goal is to be a confident person.
To find yourself in all the noise and still have things under control. To look past beyond your current surroundings and see where you are headed.
Networking and Socializing.
The number of elderly homes keep increasing as the number of lonely people keep toppling the scales.
Yet, we are in a digitalized world where we can build connections without having to write letters that take days to deliver.
We rather get more followers and vanity numbers than build worthy connections.
Truth is, our cycle of friends changes in different stages of our lives.
From kindergarten to high school, to University and then at our work place.
But at a point, we begin to have a uniform life without new environments where we meet new groups of people, and our goals starts to narrow down to focus on immediate family (and trust me, family should include someone outside nuclear and extended families, I mean friends, brothers and sisters from another gene, who have got your back through thick and thin).
Even if we do change environments and have new goals like vacations, new jobs, contracts, or a new neighborhood.
Such new environments may not last long enough to form real bonds with people.
So, while you still have time in school especially, you should focus on forming real bonds with people.
Forming real bonds with people will make you realize that you don’t have to face all the challenges that life throws at you.
Hence, it is a habit that can help you achieve your goals without working round the clock for them.
Get to know people more, what they are up to, and don’t forget the principles that we talked about that teaches you how to let the right people into your lives and enhance your relationships with them.
Friendship is priceless, and research has shown that loneliness is worse than a packet of 15 cigarettes every day.
It is the kind of disease that makes you shit your pants when you are elderly because there is no one to talk to about a challenge.
Of course, you can’t complain to your 5-year-old kid about problems with your wife or a boss, or an investment risk you plan on taking.
We always need someone to talk to, better still someone to help us in areas of life where we know nothing about.
Here is a perk; when you can network and build connections with people at every stage in life, it becomes difficult to get left behind at any of those stages.
You grow when others are growing, you do what the people you envy are doing, and they’ll always bring you up to speed as long as you have proven useful in the first place.
How to embrace this habit.
Set a goal, or rather, make it a habit of SINCERELY reaching out to friends or people in your network. Maybe one person a day, a week, or a month.
Ask them what they are up to, and even fix a time when you guys can meet (it’s the little things that matter).
We may all get to a point in our lives where we feel that we do not have time for people who are not growing with us.
Where everything feels like we are competing against our mates. No, you are not.
And you don’t want to realize later in life that you have just run a baton race without passing any baton or even worse, you just finished the race on an entirely different racetrack that exists for only you.
PS: don’t forget to leave people better than you found them. It’s always easier to resolve conflicts when they arise because they’ll know you actually do love them and want the best for them.
I know this is not quite a popular habit, but I have discovered myself that picking up a pen or your laptop to write about your day or about how you currently feel improves your mood and helps you feel better.
Most times we don’t know what we really think about a situation or someone we just met till we begin to rant, talk about it or even write it down.
Here are likely benefits of journaling;
- You discover what got you stuck in the first place,
- Along the line, you come to a conclusion or decide a solution without having to ‘look for a solution’.
- It comes as a surprise how you can get yourself out of a situation by writing about it.
- You (almost subconsciously) write about what you want from situations or people, the not-so-obvious loss and gains.
- You develop great communication skills such that you will know how to express yourself better.
And whether we like it or not, we all journal, but in a way that is unhealthy.
We journal through our tweets, status updates, posts on Facebook, our comments and the notes we draw out from books, and in our chats with people about our day.
What makes this type of journaling unhealthy is because most times, they are influenced by other people, how we want to be seen and perceived by other them, how we want to get at them in the comment section, and the empathy we want from them when we tell them how bad our day went.
But when you are writing a journal properly, the one you alone read, you truly express how you feel about a situation, you get to know yourself better.
And you become more aware of the progress or mistakes you have made.
You can adopt journaling by writing about sections of your day, maybe your mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Or better still, whenever you feel like.
For families that are still healthy and complete, they always ask about each other’s day over the dining table.
Yes, it’s the same thing, but this time, it’s just you writing honestly about how you feel your mom is too commanding – of course, you can’t say this over the dining table.
Think of it more like performing ablution for your thoughts.
Sounds weird, like how is cooking supposed to help me achieve my goals. But hear me out on this.
Majority of why people suffer diseases later in life is because of what they eat.
Restaurants sell overpriced foods with their secret ingredients and methods that increases the perceived value of their food.
The truth is, you can’t compare the food prepared for one person, to that prepared to be served to a thousand people.
And the goal of restaurants is not to make you eat a balanced diet and make sure all the nutrients in your food is intact.
Their goal is to sell, and that goal should be reached even if it means adding 200 spices to your food.
If you can hire a chef, please do.
But when you learn to cook your meals. You learn to treat yourself better. You learn patience and process.
It gives you a sense of inner happiness and satisfaction which goes a long way for self-affirmation. Of course, most ladies refer to cooking whenever they open their mouth wide to say “i’m a spec.”
You increase your creativity and even decision-making capabilities while still eating healthy balanced diets.
Not to talk about how much you can save from eating what is right because you will discover that it costs way less to eat the meals you buy from restaurants.
You control the spices and include condiments that will benefit you. Aha!! We almost forgot that knowing how to cook is an everlasting romantic gesture (now call me a relationship coach).
If you are trying to lose weight. Don’t just cut off junks. Instead, learn to cook your meals. You will learn to appreciate the value of eating healthy foods more and this sense of appreciation will rub off on just any other thing.
That’s it for today folks. Try any of these and e-mail me, or write in the comment, or better still, share this blog post with your friends if these habits work for you.
If you want to know more about habits, you can check out “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and also visit Mark Manson’s website, especially if you want to learn the technicalities of habits.
I love you too and I won’t cheat.