3 Habits To Develop For Meaningful Achievement

Want to achieve in a meaningful, non-harried, productive way? Try implementing one of these three often-overlooked habits!
Christi Hegstad April 24th, 2024

Brushing your teeth. Buckling your seatbelt. Turning out the lights when you leave a room. Isn’t it interesting to realize how much we do without really thinking about it anymore?

What once began with thoughtful intention can, with repetition, become second nature.

So when it comes to achieving meaningful goals and projects, what habits can help? Here are three that may not immediately come to mind but can definitely make a difference!

The Habit of Follow-Through

I remember once hearing how hitting the snooze button basically equates to starting the day by breaking our own plans with ourselves. Deciding the night before that something was important, then skipping out on it as our first action of the day. Ugh!

And while I won’t claim that I never hit snooze again after that, this connection definitely prompted me to do so much less often. To me, an important part of integrity involves doing what I say I’ll do – even if I’ve said it only to myself.

Whether we’re following through on our morning routine, showing up to an event for which we’ve RSVP’d, or sending off our portion of the project in the time frame promised, the power of following through can contribute greatly to our sense of meaningful achievement.

Where might you begin developing a habit of follow-through this week?

(Side note: This is not to say plans can never change. But being intentional about those changes, rather than simply floating along by default or circumstance, can make the difference.)

The Habit of Completion

Many years ago when I first started my business, I held numerous decluttering workshops. ‘What does decluttering have to do with professional + personal development?’ you might ask; and if you’ve ever completed a healthy decluttering session, you can probably answer that, too!

I realized that one of my biggest clutter creators – both physical and mental – came in the form of unfinished business: Projects half done, ideas started and put aside, partially-filled notebooks and partly-read books. This all added to the ‘stuff’ in my space as well as the endless thoughts and to-do’s in my mind.

Developing a habit of completion has made the biggest difference for me. If I can’t see something through to its absolute finish, I try to at least set mile-markers so I can reach a finishing point. For example, I may not be able to start and finish a project proposal in one go, but I can complete one section during the time I’ve set aside for it. (Results-oriented time blocking helps tremendously with this, which you can read more about here.)

What lingering project or task could you complete, or complete to a mile-marker point, this week?

The Habit of Checking In

This could mean checking in with others for group projects, to ensure you’re all on the same page and timelines. What I’m referring to specifically here, however, is checking in with yourself. And even more specifically, checking in with your values, priorities, and purpose.

If I notice myself continually procrastinating or feeling incredibly unmotivated toward something, I can typically connect it to a misalignment of some sort: It’s not honoring my core values, it no longer feels important, it seems out of sync with my purpose. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of changing circumstances, and my plans and progress may need to change accordingly.

I won’t recognize any of this, however, if I don’t pause periodically and check in with myself.

And of course, sometimes I pause, reflect, and realize it’s something I don’t want to do but still need to do. We all probably have paperwork or chores that don’t necessarily make our hearts sing. Even just that awareness – that it’s a need-to-do, and the sooner the better – can provide a boost of motivation (even if it seems a bit forced).

What project, goal, or task could use a personal check-in?

Like with any habits, I don’t recommend trying to implement everything at once. Start with one, practice it for a bit, and see what you notice. You can build from there.

What other habits can help with meaningful achievement?

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