Humans are goal oriented. We are also creatures of habits. Sometimes these two characteristics can conflict with each other. When it comes to habit change, it is a mistake to pursue a habit to achieve a result. An example would be exercising for 3 months to lose 30 pounds. Usually this is behavior that is event driven, such as an upcoming wedding, a contest, looking good for the summer etc. Once the goal is achieved and you lose the weight, what normally happens? You stop exercising regularly. Before you know it, you’ve gained the 30 pounds right back.
Instead, you should pursue making exercise a habit rather than a means to an end. Exercise should not be tied to some result but, instead, to becoming a new permanent behavior. In order for new behavior to become a habit, it must be repeated for 18 – 254 days. Exercise habits are harder to form, so they will trend more towards the 254 than the 18. When you focus on the desire to change your behavior, rather than to achieve some end result, you have a much better chance of that behavior sticking permanently and becoming a habit. Once a habit is formed, it never truly goes away.