Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

3 Secrets to Develop Habits That Matter

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The end of the year is a great to pause, look back and recognize how far you've come. Give yourself a pat on the back, as much of your progress is due to the and routines you've put into place.

While developing these habits can be imperative to an 's success, adhering to them takes practice and discipline. 

For your , consider taking your habits to the next level. Here are three tips: 

1. Think about the end result. I see people spending too much time, energy and focus on the actual they are trying to add to their routine. They make a list, fill up their calendar and even get someone to serve as an accountability buddy -- all in the name of the habit. Stop wasting your time formulating a habit, instead focus on the outcome. My suggestion is to spend that time visualizing what the habit will get you. What is the result of taking on that new habit?

2. Have a goal in mind. You've got years -- or maybe even decades -- of experience under your belt. The way you've done things, the routines you've put into place, have gotten you right here, right now. If you're going to change, you're going to have to do things, well, differently.

Related: The Single Most Important Habit of Successful Entrepreneurs 

But to break a lifelong habit or form a new one, you've got to have a specific goal you're marching toward, and it should be measurable. The more exact, the better. There's got to be something you're working on that you can break down to a level of quantification. For instance, if you want to be more punctual, consider writing down how long every task actually takes. This will allow you to observe where you may be wasting time (i.e. checking emails), which may be causing you to be continuously late. 

3. More times, less time. If you're picking up a new habit, then by default it means that it's not comfortable. That's why it isn't a habit yet. When starting out go easy on yourself. Make it okay to do less of the habit but more times per a specific time period, like a week or a month. 

Related: How to Eliminate Habits Holding You Back From Success

When I decided to make it habit to get in more in shape, I decided to become a triathlete. In that first year, I can't begin to count the number of seven-minute workouts. Yes, I only worked out for a very short amount of time. My thinking was, "I'd rather do something five times a week, for as much time as I have than to hold myself to some standard that a workout isn't a workout unless it's a certain amount of time." And it worked.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks