Minimalism Life

Without habits, goals are just abstract aspirations, and you're unlikely to achieve them, except by accident. 

In fact, I don't set short-term goals. Instead, each month, I choose a few things I want to focus on, and then I pick habits that support those focuses.

For example, if one of my focuses is to finish writing the first draft of a novel, an important daily habit will be to write either a certain number of words each day or for a certain amount of time. If, later, one of my focuses is getting that novel published, a good supporting weekly habit would be to query ten agents. 

For me, jiu-jitsu is a focus essentially every month. Now, some weeks it's less of a focus than others, depending on what else I have going on that week. But during weeks where it's a main focus, the supporting habit is daily, or even twice-daily, training sessions. 

Why focuses instead of goals? Because, at least for me, goals lead to attachment to outcomes, and attachments tend to weigh us down. If I framed jiu-jitsu as a goal instead of an area of focus--that is, if I trained specifically for the goal of achieving the next rank—I might get discouraged when I'm not promoted "fast enough," and then I might train less. (Confession: There aren't really any mights here for me. I learned this lesson because it happened, more than once.)

Focus, on the other hand, spurs me to consistent action.

Why not give this a try this month? Pick your focuses, assign yourself some supporting habits, track them, and see how much you've accomplished when the month is over, no goals necessary.