Goals vs. Systems
There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting yourself goals. However, how can you reach a goal if you have nothing in place to get there? There is a huge difference between goals and systems, and systems are always the way forward. For example, if you’re fond of writing and always fancied yourself as a novelist, your goal will be to write a book. However, you need a system in place to write that book. It won’t write itself. And it won’t just happen overnight. So, your system will be to create and follow a writing schedule which will put you on that path. The same goes if you’re a sports coach. Your goal may be to get your league or team into the championship final. However, this will not happen by itself. You will need your own system to work your team, get them up to the standard required and make sure you have a practice schedule. Don’t believe us just yet? Check out these reasons why you should focus on systems rather than goals:
1. Goals reduce your happiness at the current time
If you have a goal, you are telling yourself that in the future, you are going to be a certain way, or in the future, you’re going to have something you’ve always wanted. But this is in the future. Goals always look towards the future and ‘what if’s’ rather than what is happening in the present. These goals are you constantly telling yourself that you’re not good enough at that time, and is a huge burden on a lot of people. So instead of focusing on your goals and the future, focus on your current actions and the system you have in place each day or week to achieve the future goal. Each step of the way is a milestone to be proud of.
2. Goals don’t necessarily mean long-term progress
You may think that having a goal will keep you motivated during the long-term. However, this is often not the case. If you have been training for a marathon or writing a set amount of words each day to finish your book to reach the end goal, you will probably stop once you’ve completed it and you will go back to square one. However, systems keep you on the straight and narrow for the long-term, because as soon as you finish, you carry on with your system and you keep running.
3. Goals don’t predict the future
As much as we often wish we could, we cannot predict the future. When we set ourselves goals, we try to predict what our future will be like when we achieve it. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this, and we may be setting ourselves up for disaster. If you keep up with your systems, you are able to adapt yourself each step of the way to remove any predictions that may upset or push your back from your end result.