Go Getter

Systems Instead of Goals

I read and interesting article through Entrepreneur.com by James Clear. In the beginning of my business adventures, I was taught the importance of goals and how they needed to be refined into short and long term, and totally missed the use of systems which makes more sense. Clear has great insight when it comes to efficiency and establishing results, check it out.

We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives — getting into the better shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, winning a championship, and so on.

And for most of us, the path to those things starts by setting a specific and actionable goal. At least, this is how I approached my life until recently. I would set goals for classes I took, for weights that I wanted to lift in the gym, and for clients I wanted in my business.

What I’m starting to realize, however, is that when it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are important to you, there is a much better way to do things.

It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems.

Let me explain.

The Difference Between Goals and Systems

What’s the difference between goals and systems?

  • 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.

Now for the really interesting question:

If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results?

Related: How You Can Form Good Habits and Stick to Them

For example, if you were a basketball coach and you ignored your goal to win a championship and focused only on what your team does at practice each day, would you still get results?

I think you would.

As an example, I just added up the total word count for the articles I’ve written this year. (You can see them all here.) In the last 12 months, I’ve written over 115,000 words. The typical book is about 50,000 to 60,000 words, so I have basically written two books this year.

All of this is such a surprise because I never set a goal for my writing. I didn’t measure my progress in relation to some benchmark. I never set a word count goal for any particular article. I never said, “I want to write two books this year.”

What I did focus on was writing one article every Monday and Thursday. And after sticking to that schedule for 11 months, the result was 115,000 words. I focused on my system and the process of doing the work. In the end, I enjoyed the same (or perhaps better) results.

Let’s talk about three more reasons why you should focus on systems instead of goals.

1. Goals reduce your current happiness.

When you’re working toward a goal, you are essentially saying, “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.”

The problem with this mindset is that you’re teaching yourself to always put happiness and success off until the next milestone is achieved. “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy. Once I achieve my goal, then I’ll be successful.”

SOLUTION: Commit to a process, not a goal.

Choosing a goal puts a huge burden on your shoulders. Can you imagine if I had made it my goal to write two books this year? Just writing that sentence stresses me out.

But we do this to ourselves all the time. We place unnecessary stress on ourselves to lose weight or to succeed in business or to write a best-selling novel. Instead, you can 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.

When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.

2. Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress.

You might think your goal will keep you motivated over the long-term, but that’s not always true.

Consider someone training for a half-marathon. Many people will work hard for months, but as soon as they finish the race, they stop training. Their goal was to finish the half-marathon and now that they have completed it, that goal is no longer there to motivate them. When all of your hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it?

This can create a type of “yo-yo effect” where people go back and forth from working on a goal to not working on one. This type of cycle makes it difficult to build upon your progress for the long-term.

SOLUTION: Release the need for immediate results.

I was training at the gym last week and I was doing my second-to-last set of clean and jerks. When I hit that rep, I felt a small twinge in my leg. It wasn’t painful or an injury, just a sign of fatigue near the end of my workout. For a minute or two, I thought about doing my final set. Then, I reminded myself that I plan to do this for the rest of my life and decided to call it a day.

Related: 8 Steps to Having Wildly Productive Mornings

In a situation like the one above, a goal-based mentality will tell you to finish the workout and reach your goal. After all, if you set a goal and you don’t reach it, then you feel like a failure.

But with a systems-based mentality, I had no trouble moving on. Systems-based thinking is never about hitting a particular number, it’s about sticking to the process and not missing workouts.

Of course, I know that if I never miss a workout, then I will lift bigger weights in the long-run. And that’s why systems are more valuable than goals. Goals are about the short-term result. Systems are about the long-term process. In the end, process always wins.

3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over.

You can’t predict the future. (I know, shocking.)

But every time we set a goal, we try to do it. We try to plan out where we will be and when we will make it there. 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.

SOLUTION: Build feedback loops.

Each Friday, I spend 15 minutes filling out a small spreadsheet with the most critical metrics for my business. For example, in one column I calculate the conversion rate (the percentage of website visitors that join my free email newsletter each week). I rarely think about this number, but checking that column each week provides a feedback loop that tells me if I’m doing things right. When that number drops, I know that I need to send high quality traffic to my site.

Feedback loops are important for building good systems because they allow you to keep track of many different pieces without feeling the pressure to predict what is going to happen with everything. Forget about predicting the future and build a system that can signal when you need to make adjustments.

Fall In Love With Systems

None of this is to say that goals are useless. However, I’ve found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.

In fact, I think I’m going to officially declare 2018 the “Year of the Sloth” so that everyone will be forced to slow down and make consistent, methodical progress rather than chasing sexy goals for a few weeks and then flaming out.

Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.

Go Getter

Online Marketing Success

Yippity-do-dah! Today is awesome, I’m watching my six year old son parade around the living room as he mimics his favorite video game characters on YouTube. He’s so content with his life and unaware of all of the nonsense and struggles of the world.  Even in the struggle there’s always a glimpse of innocence that reminds us of what’s important in life.  I can’t help but to think that this world is so much bigger than meets the eye. We all have our own dreams and passions and there’s more than enough to go around for everyone.

I understand what that feels like to feel boxed in. There were times that I wanted to cry all day everyday about my financial situation,  I just prayed. I didn’t want to pray God knows, but I had to regain that peace that passes all understanding. After years of battling the same circumstance nonstop it was real easy to give up and give in. I would look at my family and think, this cycle of poverty will brake and my children will NOT inherit this! Then I would pick myself up and take a step, then another, until finally I was in a rhythm again. This went on for many years, I had to listen to the negative remarks from family and friends until one day, I looked around and no one was there. I was free to build and build and build and that’s what I did. I created my own personalized multiple income stream blueprint. I wouldn’t recommend doing this all at once, it’s going to take some time and commitment to get it together.

Don’t let this new year be another year of stagnant growth. Find a passion, fill a need and go after it.

For more information on working from home with online marketing click here. Subscribe to the GND community and you will be directed to the free video. Get ready for change!

Vee G

Go Getter

Organize for Success

More time and freedom requires organizational ability. The best way to get things done is to plan your day. A good daily schedule insures productivity and keeps you on task. You can begin scheduling your days by using a calendar or planner. I began with a planner initially, which quickly became too messy for me and then I started using my Google  calendar with my phone that helps me to balance out my days and prompts me when needed. Everyone is different, try different organizers and see what works best for you. Before you know it, you’ll be working smarter not harder.

Go Getter

New Directions

Graduation is so empowering and promising , the years that I invested in my education at Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology were some of the best years of expanding my mind. My fellow classmates were hopeful that their idea job was just an application away, and that it wouldn’t be difficult to find a job in their field. This wasn’t my experience.

After my first degree I became more aware of my chances of gaining employment and I realized that the submissions of multiple applications over the span of a year lead to no employment, and I was pissed. It was around this time that I heard about a Network Marketing company from a relative and decided to learn more. This was the first time that I realized that there was something more than just punching a clock. I didn’t do so well in the Network Marketing company, but the experience left a memorable mark on my life.