Most people have their main focus on their goals. In this blog you will find out why your main focus should be on something else: systems.
Focusing On Goals
Before you get confused: yes, goals are actually really important. However, they should not be your main focus.
Goals are great for multiple things. Having them can give you motivation. They can also give you something to aim for and they can supply you with a great boost of dopamine once you have achieved them.
But, does that mean they should be your main focus? I do not think so. By making goals your main focus you are only focusing on the outcome, the end-result. While your main focus should be on something else, the process. The most crucial components to your process are the systems that you are building around the task or skill you are working on to achieve your goal(s).
“Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the process that lead to those results.” (James Clear)
Why Your Focus Should Be On Systems Instead
It is still good to write down your goals. But after writing them down, you should put all your energy into the system(s) supporting them. Focus on the system. Because when you spend too much time on your goals and not on the systems, there are problems that will arise. Four of these problems are:
- Winners and losers have the same goals.
- Achieving a goal is only a momentary change.
- Goals restrict your happiness.
- Goals are the odds with long-term progress.
The most impactful of these four problems is the first one: winners and losers have the same goals. The only difference is that winners build systems to support the process which leads to the results, the achievement of the goal. Losers do not.
How To Make A System To Achieve Your Goals
To make a system to achieve your goals it is first important that you specify them. What do you exactly want to achieve? Once you have answered that question you should make it measurable.
Now that you know exactly what goals you want to achieve, it is time to visualize. Visualization is a crucial factor. Visualization can motivate you to keep working towards the end-result, but it can also offer something else: by visualizing the path towards the end-result you find out what actions you have to execute. So, start visualizing the path towards the end-result. Write all the actions and roadblocks down which you may encounter.
Once you have a list of all the actions and potential roadblocks it is time to prioritize and plan them. Which actions do you have to execute on a small, daily basis, to compound the results over a longer period of time? Which actions need a lot of time in a short period of time? Which actions can wait? Which actions are you not able to do right now?
You can probably already guess the step after making the list of the actions. Spread the actions out from macro (years, months) to micro (weeks, days) and implement them into your routine. Then, it is time to execute.
If you want to find out more about creating a system and habits that support your goals, you can read my review of Atomic Habits, by James Clear.
Goal Achieved. Now What?
Achieving a goal is a momentary change. That is why you should focus on systems instead. Once you have achieved your goal, the system will still be there supporting you. And guess what? You can use that system and/or discipline to achieve other goals.
“If you now the way broadly you will see it in all things.” (Miyamoto Musashi)