I have an interesting question: If you completely ignored your GOALS and focused only on your SYSTEM, would you still get results? I’ll give you an 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?
Yes, I think you would.
For many years, honestly, I used to approach my results in this way: I set goals for the grades I wanted to get in school, for the weights I wanted to lift in the gym, for the profits I wanted to earn in business.
Eventually, I began to realize that my results had very little to do with the goals I set and nearly everything to do with the system I followed.
Having a System is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference!
All of us have been used to starting our plan by setting and be focused on our specific and actionable goals. But in most cases, it doesn’t work!!!
It is a trend reversal, I know…
My focus has always been on helping people achieve REAL and SUSTAINABLE results. When I coach people, then I forget about setting goals. My focus is on their system instead.
Let’s try to go more in deep about the difference between SYSTEMS and GOALS.
GOALS are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the process that leads to those results.
Does it mean that goals are completely useless? Of course not. Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems.
I give you 2 reasons why I’m strongly convinced about that:
- GOALS RESTRICT YOUR HAPPINESS. Do you know why? Because you are unconsciously applying to yourself a negative mindset. You are essentially saying: “Now I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I’ll reach my goal. Once I achieve my goal then I’ll be successful”.
…. Can you feel a huge burden on your shoulders?
Think about that: every Olympian wants to win a gold medal. Winners and Losers have the same goals. So…if successful and unsuccessful people share the same goal, then the goal can not be what differentiates the winner from the losers.
It was only when they implement a system of continuous small improvements that they achieved a different outcome.
2. GOALS DON’T FACILITATE LONG-TERM PROGRESS.
I know that it is completely new for you because of what you know is that goals are so important to keep you motivated over the long term.
It is not always true!
If all your effort and commitment are focused on a particular goal, what will happen after you will achieve it? If you work hard with training for a half-marathon and you completed it, probably when you finish the race you stop training. That goal is no longer there to motivate you.
Achieving a goal only changes your life for a moment. We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change is the system that causes those results.
If you are solving problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily and the risk is the “yo-yo effect”.
Many runners work hard for months, but as soon as they cross the finish line, they stop training.
When all of your hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it?
The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game.
Leadership expert John Maxwell said: “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”