2022 is almost at an end and what a year it has been!
We’re around that period where we start to reflect on how our year went, going through the highs and the lows and probably flooding our Instagram timeline with memorable pictures of the whole year.
Most importantly, it is around this period we start to set goals for what we want to accomplish in the new year. We make lots of promises to ourselves that we probably wouldn’t keep.
Well, the good news is there’s a better way to set our new years revolution that’ll make it easier for us to remain committed. The trick is to build systems rather than setting goals.
You might be wondering what systems mean in this case. I’ll take a lift from James Clear's (the author of Atomic Habits) definition:
“If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.
If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.
If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million-dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process”
I think you get the picture.
Now let’s talk about why building systems are more effective than setting goals.
There are several advantages of using systems over motivation to achieve personal goals.
First, systems provide a clear and consistent framework for achieving goals. Unlike motivation, which can fluctuate and may not always be present, a well-designed system provides a step-by-step plan for achieving a goal and can be followed even when motivation is low.
Second, systems help to eliminate the need for willpower and self-control. When trying to achieve a goal, you can often face temptations and distractions that can undermine your efforts. By relying on a system, you can bypass the need for self-control and simply follow the established plan. This can help to prevent procrastination and other common obstacles to goal achievement.
Third, systems can help to automate and streamline the goal-achievement process. By breaking down the goal into a series of smaller, actionable steps, and creating a plan for completing those steps, you can make progress without having to constantly think about the goal. This can help to save time and mental energy, and can make the goal-achievement process more efficient.
We can take the case study of achieving an investment goal of $1000 in a year. The most logical framework for this will be to divide this by the number of times you earn in a year, say 12 times a year. That’ll be depositing $84 in your investment account each month. Sounds far more achievable thant dropping a lump sum of $1000 at once.
Then to automate it and take out the need for imposing your willpower, you can make a standing order with your bank to take out $84 from your salary account each month and deposit it into your investment account. You would’ve acted once and let the system take care of the rest!
Overall, the use of systems can provide many benefits for achieving personal goals. By providing a clear and consistent framework, eliminating the need for willpower and self-control, and streamlining the goal-achievement process, systems can help individuals to achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently.
So if you’re thinking of learning a new skill, losing weight, or achieving a massive financial milestone in 2023, It’ll be great to consider building a system to help you achieve these rather than relying on your motivation and willpower to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions.