Goals vs Systems (habits) : Which should you adopt ?
Many self help books advocate the power of goal setting. Yet some other admonish it. Scot Adams (Author: Dilberts) goes even to the extend of saying Goals are for losers in his book “How to almost fail, and yet succeed” . He advocates a system of “winning” . A system let you do the same action without the passion. It lets you solider on. And as you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you master it.
I have tried them both and failed many a times. Here’s what I found.
There is no shoe fits all. Goals are needed in certain scenarios and systems work in others. Let’s say I want to loose weight. Which one do you think should you choose. A goal or a system. Well most of you might say, my goal is to reduce weight by 10 kilos. The problem of treating this problem as a “goal” is that, once you achieve it you will, loose interest in it and mostly likely that would make you gain weight again. What you need here is a system and habit of healthy living for life. A healthy habit for life will retain your BMI (body mass index) for life. There is nothing achieve in here, so treating this as a goal will make your life go like a yo yo.
Let’s take a different example. Let’s say you want to become a successful writer or let’s say that you would like to become the president of you country. This is an event which requires you to have a Goal. Again the Goal is not to become the president but the Goal work for the people. A system will not work here, because, it won’t magically make you a President. Donald Trump has been politically active since he was in his 40’s. He has been building his ambition for a very long time. He became president because somewhere in his mind he had the goal of making it to the office one day. If you have a similar goal then start working on it.
Goal’s should be big. They should drive your thinking your personality. However, most people get into making goals as these tiny event like completing a book or a project. That has to be part of a system. Your system should be read 25 pages daily or to code for 2 hours daily. Don’t let the goal deter. You simply need to focus on being there at the right time. It like a sleep time. You set it up once and then it just happens, automatically. Yet most of us today, get caught up with these micro goals. I have reduce weight …No you have eat heathy as a system of life. Our brains should be free most of the time. It shouldn’t be caught up with micro goals. Because, micro goals don’t matter. They simply don’t take you anywhere, so move them to a systems bucket. You could have micro goals within a system. Which is to say if you have a system where you code for 2 hour then within that time you could decide to have a goal. But that goal lives within that system.
Life, is all about un-complicating. The more we create system which free our mind to think, would we be happier human being.
So next time you set up a goal, ask this question, IS this goal worth it ? Or should I create is a system. Systems are much easier to manage.