“Habit eats motivation for breakfast…but determination achieves more goals than habit.”
Most of the time, the quote I use to begin every blog is sourced elsewhere, whether something that has been said, a song lyric, or a line from a show. But this time, that’s a quote I came up with…by somewhat combining two famous quotes.
Anyway, enough about that. The real purpose of this blog, like all, is to give you the story behind the kickoff quote. I’m in the middle of reading the book, Atomic Habits by @JamesClear. The author presents his perspective that habits are the real reason we do great things – and not so great things, too.
When it comes to working out, I think most of us religious runners, gym rats, Cross Fitters, etc. believe that habit is a key force behind our 5 a.m. runs or evening lifts, whatever workout we’ve taken to as ours.
There is some truth to this; I’ve said plenty of times that healthy choices only work in the long term if they become part of your lifestyle – so, in a way, I support the idea that, “habit is what keeps you going.” (slipping in another legit quote there for ya.) And it definitely has nothing to do with motivation; hopefully we’ve all learned that motivation is bullshit – feel free to read my blog on the myth of motivaiton.
Atomic Habits has some really wise pieces of info – although it shits on goals a bit (and I LOVE goals). This is one part I don’t agree with and want to present an alternate perspective, my perspective.
The author believes that once people achieve a goal, they stop their good behavior. Only if they have the habit developed will they keep going.
He also notes developing habits isn’t about achieving goals, it’s about being the person you want to be, defining yourself as that person.
I don’t agree with either of these. I still believe it’s the other way around, that goals are the foundation to achieving what we want, good habits included.
I guess, personally, I don’t make the effort to be well – like run, lift weights, eat lots of veggies, and write in my journal – to because I want to be a runner, a gym rat, a vegetarian, or journaler (that’s not really a word but you get it). I don’t care about these labels or anyone defining me by them.
I do all these things because they make me feel good. I’m set goals all the time to do these things, which makes me feel good. I’m driven by the fact they help me manage my stress, my weight, my happiness – again, which make me feel good.
I’m driven – not in a habit.
I believe if you really want to do certain things – even be a certain person, if you care about labels and others’ perceptions – you need to be driven. And what drives us? Goals…not habits. The key is, and where the author’s point is very valid, you have to keep setting goals.
For real, Atomic Habits is a great book so far. I’m only about halfway into it and it has given me a lot to think about, more “oh, yes that makes sense,” than, “no, don’t agree with that.” I’m looking forward to continuing the read and, hopefully, expanding on some of my current thoughts and opening my mind to new thoughts.
What do you think about this? Are your positive actions due to habit, an automatic response? Or are you making choices based on goals and drive?
The comments are all for you to share so please do. Or you can always tweet me @LindsayIRL.