Stop setting your yearly goals if you are about to. If you find yourself getting distracted or overwhelmed come February, chances are you are going about building and breaking habits all wrong. There are a few things you need to know before we talk about how to break a habit.

Habituals are separate from goals. Wendy Wood is the author of Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making and she says goals are how we make decisions. Habit is how you stick with a behavior.

It is extremely difficult to break a habit once it becomes a habit. This can help you or hurt you. It is the brain's way of freeing up mental space for more important things, so you should be deliberate about it. Some of your habits are likely to be ones you don't want or that are trying to sabotage your efforts to achieve a goal.

Studies show that a lot of our behaviors are ingrained in us. Wood says that almost 45% of the time people repeat behavior in a familiar context while not thinking about what they are doing. We go back to our old habits when we are stressed out. Trying to form new ones based on our goals is more difficult because of this.

Wood says that they are trying to do many things in life instead of just following through on a New Year's resolution. Our commitment to change gets overshadowed by the other goals we are pursuing and the other things that we are trying to deal with on a day to day basis.

Building a habit can take a lot of time and energy, so it's important to make sure you pick behaviors you enjoy doing It can take a while to build a habit, but eventually it will be easier. Wood says it is a cumulative process. Don't be impatient with yourself.

There are a few things you can do to make it easier to form a habit when you're stressed or tired.

This is the first thing. Pick one and make a list of your goals.

Picking multiple goals and trying to do everything at the same time is the worst thing you can do when trying to build a habit.

Making a list of the goals you want to achieve and ranking them in order of importance is a suggestion made by Mendelsohn. She says that when people say they want to build better habits it is usually three things. I want to exercise, I want to eat healthy, and I want to sleep earlier.