Happy 2023!!! How has been your year so far? Let me know in the comments below! I bet you have goals for this year, I know I do. But let me ask you this, How many times have you made a goal for yourself in a new year, and have you achieved it? If you are like me I bet not many if any at all. As years passed and my goals keep unachieved I decided to learn more about why we don't achieve goals and this is where I found about systems.
WHAT IS A GOAL VS A SYSTEM
Goals are the targets you want to achieve while systems are the processes you put in place to help you achieve them. Goals are statements about what you want to achieve, usually relating to long-term objectives or changes.
If we further break it down:
Goals tell you where you want to go; they’re focused on tomorrow.
Systems tell you what you need to do every day to get there; they’re focused on today.
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” -Bestselling author James Clear’s
Goals are the big picture, the photos you put on your vision board, the thing that will inspire you to get started, to move forward, and to create that emotion you need to decide to make a change. (future) The problem with it is that the goal alone does not help you achieve your dreams. For you to check mark that goal you need to create a system (today).
Goals are target-based; systems are skill-based.
Systems allow you to build transferable skills that will pay you forward in the future. That’s because we expand and grow in the process of working toward what we want—not in the end result.
Goals create momentary change; systems create life-long change.
If year after year, your goal is to read one book per month but you only manage to do it for the first month of the year and then fail for the other eleven, then you’re left chasing the same outcome because you never changed the system behind it.
Goals delay happiness; systems don’t.
Goals create a mindset of “once I achieve my goal, I’ll be happy”, which then cultivates an “always-chasing” mentality. The problem with this goals-first mentality is that we end up delaying our happiness and associating it with the outcome of the results: “If I achieve my goal, I’ll be happy.” A system-first mentality shifts your attention to the journey—the process. You end up falling in love with progress and enjoying the growth you experience.
WHAT ARE SYSTEMS
A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, structure, and purpose and expressed in its functioning.
"If you do something every day, it's a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal." - Scott Adams How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big:
Systems are more immediate choices, processes, and habits. They're the daily routines that might not have a fixed outcome or goal but are helping you improve or move forward in a broad direction that you value.
The challenge with setting goals is that they remove us from the present and stretch us into the future, you are not in the now you are only looking at the end of the journey. Systems will help us to create those action steps that will move us there and will allow us to see where we at right now and if we are moving in the right direction.
For example, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year, then your system is how you build a lifestyle that makes it easy for you to commit to daily exercise and healthy eating.
How to Build a Better System
The secret to building a great system is to focus on small consistent wins. Do something every day that will take you one step further to that goal. For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds by Dic, you will eat two healthy meals [small] per day [consistent] and exercise for 30 minutes [small] every other day [consistent]. Small, consistent steps are the secret to creating big, sustainable changes.
Identify and list all the tasks that need to be done.
Brainstorm ideas, select 3 to 5 tasks/goals per week, and block time in your calendar to do these tasks. For example, meal prepping on Sundays from 12-2 p.m, workout weekdays from 8:00-8:30
Create a lifestyle.
Create a life/workflow that will allow you to make it easier and easier every day to achieve your tasks. Example habits and routines like:
wake up at 6 and get the kids ready for school.
take kids to school
reading, journaling, and meditating (mental health care)
tidy up and cook
prep for the next day
Track the main habit.
Notice how I didn’t say “tasks”. That’s because I don’t want to overcomplicate my life. The entire idea behind building a system is to make it easy for me to reach my goals; so I only track the habit of my lifestyle.
Every day I successfully follow through and mark an X on my habit tracker. Here’s a little secret: Despite my extravagant system, I don’t end up achieving my tasks every day. Hey—it’s normal. That’s what makes me human. But as long as I have more done than undone.
You can find a habit tracker and my goal-setting planner for free on the site store.