With jam-packed schedules and on-going interruptions, goal setting can be defeating. If you've spent a lifetime creating bad habits, it can often take you just as long to break them. That's why I've never understood why resolutions are only practiced in January. Change is an ongoing and lengthy process.

Did you resolve to kick a few bad habits at the start of 2019, only to revert right back to your old self days later? If so, you're not alone. Approximately 80 percent of people drop their resolutions within the second week of February. However, that's no reason to give up entirely.

Skip the self loathing and instead take a different approach. A more effective way of bettering ourselves can be found by looking inwards at the things we already do, rather than what we wished we did.

Motivation comes in very different forms. What drives one person may not fuel another. So maybe give yourself some credit instead of constant criticism. Below are five ways to leave bad habits behind in 2019.

1. Rest up.

Looking for a quick win? Get proper rest, especially during the work week. Limit screen time and stop answering emails in bed. Burning out due to sleep deprivation leads to a slew of other issues: irritability, poor decision making, stalled creativity, you name it.

An extra hour or two of sleep can drastically increase your productivity, alertness and drive. Trust me, your team will thank you.

2. Take more responsibility.

It's easy to make excuses, but here's the thing: it's okay to just admit that you didn't achieve a goal. The more you force yourself to be self-aware and held accountable, the more you can strive for change.

Taking responsibility instead of looking to scapegoats will help you recognize which areas of your life can be improved. Change is the first step to breaking bad habits from your daily life.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

We're all guilty of this one, myself included. In a social media driven world, everyone's putting their best foot forward, often masking what's really going on behind the 'gram. Your self worth is not defined by someone else's successes or failures. Block out the noise and stay focused.

4. Get real.

Setting unrealistic expectations sets you up for failure. I'm all about setting lofty goals, but not at the expense of feeling like I'm constantly letting myself or my team down. For example, taking the company from $10 million to $100 million in revenue by next quarter is quite ambitious. Not impossible, but probably not very realistic.

Big-picture thinking makes great leaders. Unfortunately, success isn't an overnight thing, so burdening yourself with unrealistic expectations and deadlines will only lead to failure and disappointment. Instead, set realistic, small goals that constantly make you feel like you're winning.

5. Quit the complaining.

While it's okay to express feelings of discontent sometimes (let's face it, we all need a good vent session once in a while!), you have to be careful not to let it become a regular thing.

No one likes being around a constant complainer, let alone work for one. Using positive thinking as a first-response to something not going your way will help you change your situation and move forward.

Start small. When you spill coffee on your freshly pressed blazer, shrug it off. Better yet, laugh at yourself. It's really not that big of a deal, and if anything else, you're helping to keep your neighborhood dry cleaner in business.

Published on: Feb 26, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.