3 Easy Steps To Making Strides With Your Habits and Goals

3 Easy Steps To Making Strides With Your Goals And Habits

 

This is a guest post by Kyle Richey. Kyle is the Founder and CEO of
StridesApp.com, a software to track all your goals & habits in one place.
He enjoys Productivity, Personal Development & Product Management. You 
can connect with Kyle on Twitter - @StridesApp

Don’t Give Up On Your New Year’s Resolutions…

Let’s take a little trip back to New Year’s Eve. It’s been getting colder outside, Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone, and the year is almost over.

How did you feel? Were you excited for the New Year? Was the idea of a fresh start exhilarating? Did you make any resolutions?

I hope so! New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap because it’s been said that 92% of them don’t stick, so people tend to scoff at them now. To me, that’s sad.

Why? Because life is all about continual improvement and growth.

Not doing something because the odds are against you or because it’s difficult won’t get you anywhere you want to be.

You know this, but it’s still difficult to change your habits and achieve your goals, right?

Maybe not…it doesn’t have to be, and I can prove it.

I guess this is a good time to introduce myself. My name is Kyle, and I created an app called Strides that makes it easy to track all your goals & habits in one place.

dashboard

 

People in over 100 countries use it to track 100,000’s of goals and 100,000’s of habits.

Are you tired of not achieving goals?

But let’s back up a sec. The reason Strides even exists is because I was getting tired of not achieving goals and building habits myself, and it was getting old hearing people make fun of resolutions and goals every year.

So, I made it my mission to figure out what could be done to solve the problem.

Problem: It’s difficult to change your behavior and achieve your goals, especially if you want to change multiple areas of your life (e.g. Health, Money, etc.).

Solution: 3 Simple steps to form new habits and achieve goals.

  1. For each area of your life, choose one core focus to work on.
  2. Set clear, measurable goals just outside your comfort zone.
  3. Every day, track your goals, and any habits that support them.

That’s it. If you follow that plan consistently over time, no matter what tools you use, you will get results that last.

The tough part is that it’s not easy to do all of this manually.

devices

I used to use a combination of spreadsheets, journals/notes, calendars, and to-do list apps, so it was all scattered everywhere and took a lot of work to manage.

So, a few years ago I set out to create one app that could do it all:

  • Set and track any SMART Goal you can think of
  • Track Habits, with tons of flexibility, so it works for any situation
  • Get automatic repeating reminders that hold you accountable
  • See charts to visualize your progress and stay motivated

It took years, but I’m incredibly proud to say that vision is real now, and we’re improving it every day.

But here’s the thing: You don’t need to use Strides to achieve your goals.

What’s important is that you use something, anything, that will help you set goals, track them, and stay motivated through the hard parts.

So, let’s dive into the three steps:For each area of your life, choose one core focus to work on.

1. For each area of your life, choose one core focus to work on.

Let’s start with the easy one. Think of a few aspects of your life that you’d like to improve, like Health, Money, Relationships, Career/Business, etc.

For each of those parts of life, what’s the one thing that could help everything else?

This is typically the big goal. A common one for Health is to lose weight. For Money, it might be paying off debt or sticking to a budget.

goal

Think of the thing that will have a positive impact on everything else in that area of your life. That’s your core focus for that part of life.

Oh, and don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be your focus forever. Once you’ve built/broken some habits and achieved your goals, you’ll be ready to move on to a new core focus.

Typically, it’s best to do this for 2-4 areas of your life.

Alright, so once you have the core focus for each area you’d like to improve, what’s next?

2. Set clear, measurable goals just outside your comfort zone.

This is the foundation of successful goal setting. One of the biggest problems with traditional New Year’s resolutions is that they’re too big and broad.

Think of your classic ones like quitting smoking, losing 20 lbs, running a marathon, etc. They’re all great things to aspire to, but they’re very difficult to stick to.

Why? Because they take a very long time, so it’s tough to stay motivated throughout the whole process.

Let’s use the lose 20 lbs example. That might take 3-5 months. You could set out with that goal, even setting a SMART Goal like “Lose 20 lbs by June 15th”, but the difficult part comes after those first couple weeks when it gets harder.

So what’s the solution? Set a much smaller goal like “Lose 5 lbs in 30 days”.

That’s just outside your comfort zone, and it’s totally doable. You’ll see the end in sight, and when you reach that goal you can set a new one.

Ideally, you can even keep track of your pace so you’ll know if you’re on track to achieve your goal at any time (Strides does that with green progress bars that turn red if you fall behind pace).

Okay, so you’ve set a goal that’s just beyond your comfort zone. Now what?

3. Every day, track your goals, and any habits that support them.

It has been proven time and time again, in study after study, that tracking things helps to improve them because it’s the best way to appreciate progress and feel a sense of accomplishment as you grow and improve.

The key is to do it every day, with a combination of high-level goals and micro-level habits.

Let’s keep going with the lose weight example. Here’s how I would set it up:

  • Target Goal: Lose X lbs by Y Date
  • Average: Rate the quality/quantity of each meal out of 10
  • Habit: Drink Water X times per day
  • Habit: Get to sleep by 10 pm 5 times per week
  • Habit: No Sugar or Fried Foods 20 meals per week

habit

These are all basic things you can find online from certified personal trainers and nutritionists, so it’s not hard to find what works. The key is tracking them all at once to stay on top of all of them.

Some people don’t like to have too many things to track at once, which is totally fine. What matters is that you stay just outside your comfort zone, whatever that means to you.

Personally, I find it’s more motivating to have a few things to track in each area of my life, with a mix of long-term and short-term, daily and weekly.

That’s what works best for me, but track as much as you’re happy with.

Cool, now let’s sum it all up:

  1. For each area of your life, have one core focus at a time.
  2. Set clear, measurable goals just outside your comfort zone.
  3. Every day, track your goals, and any habits that support them.

Whatever you do, please don’t ever give up on your resolutions.

Set goals and work toward them every day. That’s what life is all about.

Keep making strides,

Kyle Richey

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