Human beings are not always great at doing what is best for them. Sometimes this is because they do not know what is best. But usually, it’s because doing the right thing is just so dang hard. This fact of life is as true for Millennials as it is for generations past. Perhaps even more so. Why? Not because Millennials are lazy or because they are entitled. But instead because today, there are simply so many convenient and highly stimulating options available right at our fingertips.
Sure, people have always had sources of entertainment. But no generation from the past had every movie, and every TV show ever created available on their TV with a simple click of a button. And not only that, food, clothing, and every other material item or luxury you could ever need—today, you can have it all without ever leaving your house. When things are this easy, it can make sticking to difficult habits seem, well, too hard.
None of the above should be used as an excuse. The fact that technology can be a distraction is just as real as the fact that it can be a tool we use to our advantage. There are many ways in which people can use their phones and Smartwatches to accurately track their behaviors and better ensure that they stick to their habits. Technology is just a tool. What matters is how you use it.
Other than using tracking apps, here are some of the ways Millennials can create more effective habits to better achieve their goals.
Set SMART Goals
The problem many people face lies in the setting of proper goals. Unfortunately, the way most people tend to set goals dooms them before they even begin. They set goals that are vague, have no deadlines, are too easy or too hard, and have no precise pass or fail rate.
This is where SMART goals come in. SMART is an acronym that stands for:
- Specific: If your goal is to lose weight, you should not simply say, “I want to lose weight.” That is a poorly crafted goal. Instead, you need to be specific. Say, “I want to lose 10lbs.”
- Measurable: Your goal has to be something you can measure. For example, saying, “I want to be more social.” It is not a good goal. It is much better to say something like, “I want to be more social by going out at least once a week and talking to at least two new people every other day.”
- Achievable: You don’t want to overshoot your goals. Doing so often results from a lack of confidence in yourself. If, for example, you have never been mountain climbing saying “I want to climb Mt. Everest by the end of the month,” would be ridiculous. You should start small and be realistic.
- Relevant: You want your goals to have good motivations. If you’re going to learn a foreign language, for example, you should learn it for relevant reasons. For example, learning Spanish to help you excel at work is a relevant reason. Learning Spanish so you can tell off that rude server is not.
- Timely: All goals must have deadlines. If they don’t, you can never be honest with yourself. Looking at the weight loss goal again, you should say, “I want to lose X pounds by Y date.” At least then you will know if you are succeeding or failing.