Diana Scharf said, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Goals are great, but what really matters are the habits we form and keep in order to reach those goals.

In fact, when you’re developing and living out the right habits, your goals become almost irrelevant, especially when you realize that who you are becoming is way more important than what you are accomplishing anyway.

If you want to become who you’re supposed to become… do the dailies.

I recently started meeting with a group of guys on Tuesdays at 5:00 am. That’s earlier than I usually wake up every day, but it’s worth it because the point of our gatherings is to support and encourage each other as we pursue the habits we’ve all established and shared with each other.

The group, led by my friend David Williams, has six basic habit expectations:

  • Drink at least 64 oz. of water
  • Get up early (you pick the time, but be consistent)
  • Work out three times per week (you pick the workout)
  • Journal what you’re grateful for each night
  • Limit your social media intake (you decide your limit)
  • Gray out your phone screen to make it boring (and less addictive)

Beyond that, each guy comes up with a few other habits they want to implement. Mine have been:

  • Write every day (journaling, blog posts, etc.
  • Practice lectio divina each day
  • Cut out gluten entirely
  • Date my wife consistently
  • Clean out my cars weekly

Other guys are reading books, leaving work on time, shutting phones off at dinner, or going to bed at a certain time.

They’re all little habits, for the most part, but it’s the little habits that turn into bigger habits because our little daily habits help us to become the people we are meant to be.

As you “do the dailies,” it’s important to remember a few things.

You will not be perfect.

What matters is that you get back to the habit as quickly as possible. In our group, mess-ups are met with grace and support rather than shame, because shame never really gets us anywhere positive.

Life will still be hard.

Challenges still come. Keeping good habits doesn’t mean your problems will vanish or that you’ll suddenly develop a magic touch that turns everything around you into gold. But when the hard moments of life do come along, we’re stronger because we’ve been developing our character.

The real battle is almost always mental.

Our circumstances don’t derail us nearly as much as our own self-condemnation will. The heart of the battle happens in the mind, which is why it’s so important to learn and to rehearse truth as it relates to our lives.

We grow in knowledge as we read and consume content, but consuming content doesn’t grow our character. Action does. It’s by doing the right little things daily that we aim ourselves in a healthy trajectory for the future.

Photo by ConvertKit on >Unsplash.