Take Help of "My Habit Buddy" to Build Strong Systems for Life !!
A goal is the result you want to accomplish. But, Systems deal with processes that lead to that result.
- A goal tells you where you’re going tomorrow.
- A system tells you what to do today.
A system is a collection of tasks and strategies that help you to function. And setting goals can be part of that system.
The conventional wisdom suggests that the best way to achieve anything we want in life, be it getting into better shape, building a successful business or spending more time with your family is to set specific, realistic goals.
But if you completely ignored your goals & focused only on your system, would you still succeed??
James Clear (Author of Atomic Habits) says that you would.
Here are some problems with only having goals :
- Successful & Unsuccessful people share the same goals, so therefore goal can not be what differentiates winners from losers.
- Achieving a goal only changes your life for a moment in time.
- Goals can create an either-or conflict. Either you achieve the goal & succeed, or you don't and you are a failure. Even if you were making progress in the right direction.
- When you achieve a goal, what do you do after? If your goal was running the local marathon, chances are after completing it, your motivation will quickly fade & you will just slip back into your old routines.
Remember : Goals are good for setting the right direction, but systems are best for making Progress.
- If you’re a coach, your goal might be to win a championship. Your system is the way you recruit players, manage your assistant coaches, and conduct practice.
- If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal might be to build a million-dollar business. Your system is how you test product ideas, hire employees, and run marketing campaigns.
- If you’re a musician, your goal might be to play a new piece. Your system is how often you practice, how you break down and tackle difficult measures, and your method for receiving feedback from your instructor.
The goal in any sport is to finish with the best score, but it would be ridiculous to spend the whole game staring at the scoreboard. The only way to actually win is to get better each day. In the words of three-time Super Bowl winner Bill Walsh, “The score takes care of itself.” The same is true for other areas of life. If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.
What do I mean by this? Are goals completely useless? Of course not. Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems.
Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That’s the counterintuitive thing about improvement. We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results. When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, you need to solve problems at the systems level. Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves.
A systems-first mentality provides the antidote. When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running. And a system can be successful in many different forms, not just the one you first envision.
The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.
Fall In Love With Systems :
None of this is to say that goals are useless. However, I've found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.
Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.
Our Inspiration & Guides for this Article :
- Forget About Goals, focus on systems instead - Serge Hutin.
- James Clear - Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.
- Medium.com - James Clear on Building Systems Instead of Goals.
- Goals Don't Replace Systems & Vice Versa - Darius Foroux.
- Marie-Clarie Ross - Take a System Based Approach for Your Goals.