This is Definitely You!
Are you one of those people who every new year incessantly keeps posting all over the internet THIS IS MY YEAR!!!
Are you also one of those people who starts every single year with a massive list of overly ambitious and unrealistic resolutions which you know, you will NEVER EVER EVER ARCHIVE!!
Finally, are you also that person that sets out to turn their big fat selves into a massive, ripped beast and ends up chewing popcorn with chips while binging on Netflix all day?
Well, this article is just for you!!
Closing my Business, a random Journal Entry and a Book ?
A month ago I posted a videoexplaining why I closed my photography business, and in that video, I explained that the main reason I closed shop was that I was not disciplined enough to meet the goals I had set for my business.
On the 6th of May 2020, I made an entry into my Journal that I later was dumbfounded to realize existed in a book that I really wanted to get my hands on. I have not purchased this book yet but I have access to the first chapter of the book after getting a free link to the chapter on the Authors website.
The book I am talking about is Atomic Habits by James Clear Everybody has either heard or been recommended this book by their Aunt, Mother or friend because they are a lazy sack of potatoes binging on Netflix all day!! That was harsh and I am sorry! But I know, you know, that you are one of those lazy sacks of potatoes.
I know you are asking yourself, ‘How does closing a business, a journal and a book all come together?
Let Me Explain
While trying to establish and run my business I set goals to achieve but I never managed to achieve them, and I did not understand why neither did I bother to figure out why, to be honest. At around the same time, I completely stopped setting goals altogether. I was not achieving them so why bother, right?
This then leads to the journal entry. The journal entry on 6th March 2020 reads “Take the time to set goals. Set the goal, create a system and forget the goal. Even if you do not achieve the goal you will have changed.”
After closing shop, dealing with feelings of failure and regret, I figured that not setting goals was a directionless approach. Without goals, there was no purpose or intention. I would simply be wandering through life. Therefore, I decided to set some goals so that there was something to live for. But instead of having a stand-alone goal, I would develop the habits needed to help me accomplish my goals. If the system or habit worked, I would keep it. If it failed I would first access the habit and make adjustments and try again. If this did not work either, then I would go back to the drawing board and start off on a new system.
Goals Vs Systems
It is generally accepted by our society that living life without any goals is the wrong way to go about life. However, author James Clear argues that this is not entirely the truth and I strongly agree.
Hopefully, I can convince you that focusing on just your goals is probably not the best approach to finding success.
Let me first begin by differentiating between a GOAL and a SYSTEM.
- GOALS are about RESULTS. SYSTEMS are about PROCESSES that lead to the RESULTS.
While thinking about this difference,a question came to mind? If I spent my time entirely focused on a system or strategy rather than the results, would I be guaranteed success in whatever it was I set out to do?
The answer is a BIG YES!!
Think about it, highly successful people have some form of routine that they consistently stick to. The reason they stick to these routines is that they give them the results that they are looking for, right?
Now James Clear identifies four problems with focusing on just Goals.
- Winners and Losers have the same goals. In sports, teams set out to challenge their opponents with one goal. TO WIN THE GAME. At the end of the game, a winner and a loser are declared. The team that won did not win because their goal to win the game was more ambitious than their opponent’s goal. Both teams had the same goal, to win the game.
So the goal can’t be the reason that one team won and the other lost. The team that won probably had better teamwork, better tactics and employed a better strategy which they had tested over a period of time during practice. They had a better system and this put their odds of winning in their favour.
- Goals are Momentary. I cannot tell you how many times I mess my room and have to summon the strength to clean it up. My room will be a mess for two weeks because I do not have the energy. So I will usually set out a goal to clean up my room in half a day. Once this is accomplished… HOORAY!! I accomplished my goal for the day. I feel great at that moment but after two weeks, I will probably find myself in the same predicament. This is beacause the intial goal happened in a moment and did not last for the period of two weeks.
I do not have a system or the habits necessary to keep my room organized. In order to sort this problem, I introduce a system where I organize my room twice a week so that I do not have to keep spending hours cleaning after myself every two weeks. Goals create momentary results that are not consistent. Systems on the other hand are very consistent and create room for me to be at peace so that after two weeks I will not expend a lot of my energy cleaning up.
- Goals Keep Happiness Away. Think about it, we mostly postpone happiness or reward ourselves only when the goal is achieved. The problem with a goal-based approach is that it has what James calls an “either-or conflict”. It is either you achieve your goal and be successful or fail and be disappointed. In such a situation we box ourselves into a false version of happiness. It is a misguided way of looking at things because the path that life takes is not entirely what we envision it to be.
With a system-based approach, you go through the process adjusting as you go with the obstacles that you face. You have the freedom to be happy as the system is running. The system-based approach allows one to be successful in different ways and not entirely in the away that you initially envisioned things. Besides, life doesn’t always turn out the way we envisioned it.
- Goals Kill Purpose. When all your focus is put into a particular goal, what keeps pushing you forward after the goal is achieved? For a lot of us, once a goal is achieved we no longer have the motivation to keep reaching further. This is how people find themselves reverting to old habits after accomplishing a goal.
Goals help you win the game. Systems keep you in the game. Goals are short term while systems are long term. Commitment to process, Determines your progress.
Use goals as a compass to identify what you want (results) but don’t use a result-oriented approach to accomplish these goals because you are more likely to be unhappy, live for moments rather than experiences and lose motivation.
Now as I conclude this article I want to say that this is just my perspective and I am not seeking to be right in any way but I believe that the system over goals approach has merit. You may look at things a little differently. That is why I want you to go down to the comment section and leave a comment so that I can see what you have to say and while you are doing that don’t forget to like and [ sign up for more articles on such topics] subscribe to my youtube channel to see videos on topics just like these.
See you in the next post.