How to Achieve Your Goals with Healthy Habits

I’m the kind of person who loves making Goals. Goals motivate me to aim for something great, to be in a better place then where I am now.

But I’ve also noticed that goals can become a source of unhappiness.

Let me explain.

A person with a Goal mindset often thinks in this way “If I get [goal here] then I’ll be happy”.  As a result our Happiness gets pegged with achieving the Goal.

And once you reach your Goal, you plan for the next Goal starting a new cycle of wanting something to be happy.

Here are some more problems with having a Goal mindset:

  • There’s a lot of excitement in the beginning when we make Goals, but the excitement fades with time, making it difficult to reach the Goal
  • Outcome is not in our control. Therefore even if we do our best, we still may not end up reaching out Goal. But instead we end up carrying the burden of failure
  • All the focus is on the result, and not on the journey. When infact it’s the journey that is more important than the result
  • Goals are often conceived without account for unexpected changes in life. Sometimes our plans change along the way that don’t allow us to reach our Goals

Focus on Habits

Here’s something I found better than goals.


Instead of focusing on reaching your Goals, focus on creating the right Habits. In doing so:

  • You are free to enjoy the present moment by focusing on the habit your want to create
  • Your Happiness doesn’t depend on reaching something in the future, but instead of building something in the present – a Habit
  • You’re aiming for long term change, not short term gratification.

How to turn your goals into habits?

For example, if your Goal is to lose 5 Kg in the next 3 months. Focus on creating a Habit like “Workout at the gym 5 days a week”.

Now inspite of your best efforts if you’ve not lost those 5 kg, that’s ok. You’ve done something better… you’ve formed the habit of exercise that will keep you health for the rest of your life.

Isn’t that better than just losing 5 kg and putting that weight back on after 3 months?

Here are some more examples of forming Habits from your Goals:

  • Write a 300 page Book in the coming year. Focus on creating a Habit of writing 30 mins a day
  • Learn to speak a new language. Schedule language speaking sessions a friend
  • Learn a new programming language:  Commit to spend 5 hours a week on an online class with

You get the point :-)

But how can you achieve anything if you don’t have Goals?

Ok, let me clarify something. I’m not saying “Don’t make Goals”, what I’m saying is don’t have a Goal mindset where you’ve set all your hopes and dreams on achieving that one Goal.

Instead put your attention in forming habits that will take you towards your Goal.

Welcome 2014

It’s the new Year, and many of us are making Goals. I’ve made Goals as well, and for each Goal I’m focusing on a Habit to support the Goal.  What are your plans for 2014? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Now that’s Advertising!

I’ve been an advertising buff all my life.  I’ve commented on some nasty ads here and here.  And shared some sparklers here, here,  here and here.

Most ads speak about the greatness of their products.  Not this ad.  Yet I’m convinced to try it out.  And they executed the ad in under 15 seconds, with just one actor and a minimalist set.  Now that’s advertising!






Here are some solid ad headlines:

Feared by more people than ever before.
Your cough won’t know what hit it, neither will you.
Made with oil of Pine needles. What did you expect it to taste like?
People swear by it. And at it.
Our largest bottle is 200 ml. Anything more would be cruel.
Not new. Not improved.
How bad does it taste? That depends. How bad is your cough?
Unfortunately, adding DM doesn’t make it taste any better.
I’m dedicated to ensuring every new batch of Buckley’s tastes as bad as the last.
Four of the most dreaded words in the English language: “Get out the Buckley’s!”
I have recurring nightmares in which someone gives me a taste of my own medicine.
Since 1919, we’ve been leaving Canadians with a bad taste in their mouths

Prism 2.0

An amazing short film, inspired by actual CIA research files.  Just 15 minutes long.  Have a look.


Note to Dennis Lu (the Director):

You really should start a Kickstarter to raise funds for part two.

Sketches at delhi airport


The Art of Enjoying Food




I come home from work, exhausted, tired & famished. I hear the call for dinner.

It’s Biryani!

Hmmm… just the thought brings water to my mouth.

The the aroma brings me closer.

I prepare myself for the encounter, and walk towards the table.

I set my eyes on the biryani, and it looks back at me.

My mind is now empty of all thoughts other than the through of devouring it.

I make the attack!

The first bite is sooo good, I immediately move on to the second, then the third, fourth, fifth.

Before I know it. It’s all over.

My plate looks like an abandoned battle scene. Bones & pieces of meat lying around.

Even though it seems that I won…

I Actually Lost.

I love Biryani, but I didn’t enjoy it. It finished of so fast.

I was feeling full & bloated.

At the end, I didn’t want anymore.

Pleasure turned into Pain.

Are you enjoying your food?

Do you get that feeling of regret after having a meal, that you’ve had too much? ’cause of which you start feeling lazy.

This happens when we have eating habits like:

  • Eating while watching TV / YouTube
  • Having a meal over phone / skype
  • Eating too fast

Mindful Eating – The Secret to enjoy eating food

Have you heard of Mindful eating? No it’s not about eating anyone’s mind. :-)

Mindful eating a simple practice of being present while eating, and the secret to enjoy food.

Here’s why.

When you’re present, your senses are on full alert (like Spidey sense). As a result you will:

  • Start noticing the color and texture of your food
  • Appreciate where the food has come from and the effort gone into making it
  • Get a heightened sense of taste
  • Know when you’re feeling full, and when to stop

One step to Mindful eating

The secret to forming a new habit is to start small. So let’s focus on just one step.

Just do this one thing, and you’ll notice a Big difference in how much you start enjoying your food.

“Prepare for the next bite, only after you’ve finished the previous one completely.”

This one action makes you stop and savour what is in your mouth. Then creates anticipation for the next bite. It also makes you aware how much food taking in your next bite.

With Mindful Eating you not only enjoy your food more, but also feel good about yourself for not over eating.

Have you tried mindful eating? do share your thoughts below.



You cannot do anything…

“… You can only try” Dr Taha Mateen


New Book: Sufi Comics – The Wise Fool of Baghdad

After 6 months in the making in collaboration with Artist Rahil Mohsin & Master Calligrapher Muqtar Ahmed, we launched the book ‘Sufi Comics: The Wise Fool of Baghdad’ at Comic Con Bangalore. We are very pleased with the final output of the book, it’s one of its kind!

Preview the Book | Buy the Book | Photographs from the launch

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