Turning Habits into Goal Achievement
A man was traveling in Canada one springtime when frost and melting snow made it nearly
impossible to drive farther. He came to a crossroads and saw a sign that said, “Take care which
rut you choose. You will be in it for the next 25 miles.” That’s a wise warning for all of us—and
not just when we’re driving in rough road conditions. Article by Vernon C. Grounds, Our Daily
Bread, February 2006
Are the ruts you have established for yourself working for your or against you? For instance if
one has established an exercise routine or a mental/emotional/spiritual growth routine that is
providing physical and emotional support and health, then that is a pretty good rut to be stuck in.
However if your habit/rut is to come home from work, eat dinner and turn on the T.V. and you do
this year after year, that might be a rut you want to crawl out of.
As a Business Coach, the ruts we must concern ourselves with are the ones that make us weaker,
like lack of exercise or mental stimulation. They keep us from achieving our potential and keep
us from even caring if we achieve anything at all in life.
So how do we cultivate the right ruts for our lives? I am a great proponent of creating habits or
ruts that actually keep us on track with the goals we are trying to achieve. If your goals and your
habits become synchronous, we have a far better chance of achieving our goals. A good example
of that type of synchronous relationship would be establishing a health goal of working out daily
and then looking for a way to build exercise into your daily rut. The idea of getting up every
morning and going for a walk not only establishes a habit, but the establishment of the habit
moves you toward the goal of working out daily and the ultimate goal of better health and
Let’s take that one step further and move it into the realm of business. Let’s say you would like
to write a book to help promote your business. Wow writing a book, huge goal with long term
implications. If you are anything like me, writing a book is not the only thing you have to do in
a day (unless you write for a living), so how do you fit writing a book into an already busy
schedule. Let’s think about that, shall we?
The first thing to do is to determine that you will make “writing a book” a goal. So write the
goal down. Next you would determine the length of the book, create your outline and then give
your goal a time line for completion. Make sure that you give yourself sufficient time to ensure
that you don’t have to spend hours a day writing the book. After determining the timeline for
completion, you can figure out just how much you would have to write everyday to finish the
book on time. The next step is the “habit forming” part. Look at your current schedule, and
think about where you could fit in a few minutes of writing each day. Perhaps when you are
starting your day, or maybe you could write at the end of the day, but it should be a time that fits
naturally into your life and it should not be a large amount of time. If you can write for 15 or 30
minutes each day, and put that time slot into a block of time that you are normally doing some
other type of writing project, you will be able to create a habit/rut, that synchronizes well with
Life on purpose is about creating ruts or habits for ourselves that lead us to setting and achieving
worthy goals. Life on purpose makes getting up in the morning exciting and helps us to look
forward to the day. Living a life on purpose helps us to get through those times in our life that
are difficult and challenge what we believe is possible. Creating goals that turn into habits
definitely goes a long way in building purpose into our lives. So what goals can you incorporate
into your daily habits? Make sure your ruts are all good ones.
Sharon Schierling is a business coach living and working in the Dallas, TX metro area. Her
specialty is working with single proprietors to help them develop successful businesses using
practical business principles.
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