If you spend too much time focusing on the how of achieving a goal or developing a new habit, you'll forget if it was even worth pursuing in the first place. Whenever you take the time to monitor your progress, don't forget to assess the goal's personal value to you as well.
Photo by Regan Walsh.
You should never assume that what works for others will work for you. That's why Elizabeth Grace Saunders at Harvard Business Review suggests you always try to reevaluate the "why" as you pursue a goal:
If you get into work at 6:30 AM because doing so makes you happy, go for it. But if you would actually feel healthier by sleeping a bit later and getting in at 8 AM, that's OK too. The issue is not in being disciplined or doing certain activities in certain ways, but in whether you do what you do because it works for you, or because it's what you think you should do... Each person has a unique mix of routines that make them happy and healthy. Be sure you're living according to those needs, not someone else's.
Ask yourself if what you're doing actually has value to you. What benefits are you getting out of it? If you can't think of any, you're just wasting your time and energy on something that seemed like it would be beneficial. Always remember to reevaluate the "why" and you'll stop those unnecessary energy-drainers and time-wasters before they go too far.
The Perils of Overmonitoring Your Behaviour and Goals [Harvard Business Review]