Goals are for losers: Why you should be building habits and systems instead
“A system is a process you follow. It’s repeatable, and it leads to the same (or similar) results each time. It can take time to develop a system, but in doing so you’ll learn a ton about getting the results you want.
A system could be your exercise plan, your writing schedule, or your process of learning new skills regularly.
A habit is a repeatable action. It’s something you do without thinking about it—unlike a system, which could be a series of actions you take, like an exercise plan that incorporates running, gym, and rest days.
A habit could be eating cereal for breakfast, running every morning, or reading before you go to sleep.
Habits and systems have an important thing in common: they’re repeatable. When you’re working on building a habit or developing a system, you focus on what you do each day, not a far-off goal.
As James Clear says:
‘When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.’
Perhaps my favorite reason for focusing on systems and habits over goals is that they give you control. I know from experience that when I set a goal I can’t control, like getting a particular job or improving sales for my business, I feel frustrated and disappointed when I don’t ‘complete’ that goal.
But aiming for a goal you don’t control doesn’t make any sense: you can’t achieve something that’s out of your hands.
What you can do is work hard on your job application, build your network, do more sales calls—habits and systems are controllable, repeatable actions that will lead to improvements over time.”