Here we are on the other side of the New Year. The discombobulation of the holidays can settle down. And we can get back to work, right? Well. Not just yet.
There’s this little thing about resolutions.
I envy people who have goals and work to achieve them. But resolutions are counter-productive for me.
Although I do have an “intentions” list that I made in 2012. It has been a right handy stick with which to continue to smack myself through 2013.
In fact, now I have two resolution lists over which to obsess and I’m feeling more and more a failure!
Well, I’m done beating myself up with a two-year-old resolution list!
But, I still want to get things done and to make progress toward what is important to me.
And this might be how.
Systems versus Goals
James Clear, an entrepreneur and self-improvement expert, posits in a recent post that the system may be much more important than the goal. While goals are fine and even give you a high water mark toward which to achieve, it’s the system you use to achieve your goal that propels you toward success.
Clear urges that we, “keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals.”
I like that. It feels do-able.
I feel vaguely uneasy about setting goals because I worry that I’m judging myself as not good enough the way I am. And, if I don’t achieve them, I feel like a failure. Kind of a lose/lose.
But I think I can tweak a system.
What’s the difference between goals and systems? The goal is the result and the system is the strategy to get there. An example Clear uses is the coach, whose goal is to win the championship. His strategy, or system, is what the team does each day in practice.
“If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results?” asks Clear.
I’m going to explore that by implementing procedures (or strategies) that will support my goals.
Here are a few:
- write 750 words daily.
- publish an article per week (which means I can work toward it a little bit each day)
- swim 3-4 times a week
- Choose foods that are as close to being whole as possible, at every meal.
- Participate in some kind of learning about compassionate communication, at least once a week.
I’m excited about this paradigm shift in self improvement. And, with a system in place, I feel safe and supported–whether I make that day’s practice or not. So, it’ll be a lot easier to get back in the groove when I meander away from the system.
Now, let’s get back to work.
Do you have any systems you’d like to share?