Systems, Not Just Goals

Systems, Not Just Goals-0

Systems, Not Just Goals

Written by Desiree Nordstrom

2014 has arrived!  It is a New Year and most of us are face to face with our New Year’s Resolutions. I’m still working on mine. We call these resolutions goals, which are made for the purpose of measurement. What are your resolutions? There are no limits on our goals. Some are long term life changing like being a better listener, or working less and spending more time with family, or getting more organized. Others are short term like making it through law school, growing our hair long, or getting in better shape. If we create goals, does that automatically make us successful? The thought occurs to me that in all reality what helps us achieve our goals is the process, or in other words, the means to the end.

Systems…systems are the means to the end. I read an article recently that put systems on my “radar screen.”

The article gives examples to show the differences between goals and systems. One example is that of a coach. The coach’s goal is to win a championship. The coach’s system is to practice each day. Then the article asks, “If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results?”

The author continues by giving three examples of why one should focus on the systems and not the goals. First, he claims goals reduce a person’s current happiness because he doesn’t allow himself to be happy until the goal is met. Secondly, the author claims goals are at odds with long-term progress. He explains that once a goal is obtained, that person then loses motivation because there is nothing more to reach. Lastly, the author claims that goals suggest a person can control things that one actually cannot. It states, “We try to predict how quickly we can make progress, even though we have no idea what circumstances or situations will arise along the way.” Goals can help plan your progress…but systems are what push progress.

You can read the whole article here.

So for our 2014 resolution, OLN will follow systems, not just create goals. We will put systems in place to ensure success. Then we will adjust systems as needed to get our desired results.

What do you think? Do you agree? What are systems that you have in place in your life that help you to be successful?


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