Entrepreneurship

Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

We all have goals that we want to achieve. However, developing a strategy is more important than accomplishing success in life.

For instance, if you want to start your own business, then you might think that the most important thing to do was to set big goals. You thought that if you think big then you can change the world.

Setting daring goals may work but not for a long time. It can make you feel exhausted. You could never live up to your expectations. Your fearless goals will become your weakness since it will keep on reminding you how far you are from achieving the success that you wanted in life. Your goals can quickly transform you from being a dreamer to a failure.

The reality is there is a big difference between goals and behaviors. Knowing this difference can help you in accomplishing success in life.

Forget about your vision, focus on perseverance.

Typically, there are particular things that we want to accomplish in our lives. Sometimes these can be short term goals such as completing the article that you’ve just started or slimmed down to achieve a specific weight. Oftentimes, these goals can also be big and daring. A good example would be the audacious goal of Elon Musk to create a space colony on Mars.

These goals may vary from one person to another. It could be about having a successful career, building a profitable business, obtaining a better shape, winning the basketball championship, having a great family, etc.

The best way that we can achieve these things is to set a specific goal. This is how most people handled things in life. They would set goals for the weights that they want to lift in the gym, the number of miles that they want to run, the number of clients that they want in their business, and others.

By setting a goal, you can visualize what you want to create and make a plan on how you are going to get there. After making your goals, the next step is to create habits that can help you in achieving these goals. With good habits, there are greater chances that you can reach your goals.

However, as time passed by, you might start to realize that if you really want to get these things done and you want to make progress on your journey, then there is a more effective strategy. The fact is you need to determine the difference between goals and systems.

What is the difference between goals and systems?

The difference between goals and systems is not purely intellectual. There is no doubt that both of them require distinct types of focus. For instance, if you are a writer, then your main goal is to write a book. And the system that you need to follow is your writing schedule. The goal of every coach is to win a championship. And to accomplish this goal, you have to follow a system that requires your team to do regular practice each day.

It is the goal of every runner to run a marathon. To achieve this, they must have a system that requires them to have a monthly training schedule. If you are aspiring to become a successful businessman, then your major goal should be to build a profitable business. The appropriate system for this is the marketing and sales process.

If you are setting a goal of slimming down to a specific weight, then you must have a system of eating healthy foods and doing regular exercise.

So, what if you will disregard your goals and concentrate solely on your system, can you still obtain positive results? For instance, if you were a coach and you disregard your main goal of winning a championship and concentrate mainly on practicing with your team every day, can you succeed? Yes, you can.

If you are a writer and you have written more than 120,000 words for the whole year, then essentially this means that you have already written two books that consist of 60,000 words each. Perhaps this might come as a surprise to you, most especially since you did not set a goal for your writing. You have never planned that you will write two books for the entire year. All you did was to follow your writing schedule and ultimately you have achieved a much better result.

Why Is It Better to Focus on Systems Rather Than in Goals?

Goals can affect your happiness.

While you are working in achieving your goal, you are also telling yourself that you are not good enough yet. But eventually, you will be once you have accomplished your goal. By having this mentality, you are putting off your happiness and success. Essentially, you are telling yourself that you can only be happy and successful once you have achieved your goals. The best solution is to devote yourself to a process, rather than a goal.

Focusing yourself on your goals can create a great burden on your shoulders. Unfortunately, this is what we do most of the time.  We easily get stressed if we do not lose weight or if we can’t achieve a successful business. The best thing to do is to focus more on your daily tasks and follow your schedule. This can help in reducing your stress, rather than thinking about your big goals. By focusing your time on your practice rather than on your presentation then you can have fun while improving yourself.

After you have achieved your goals, what’s next?

You’ve always believed that having goals can keep you motivated for a long period of time. But this is not always the reality. For instance, if a runner wishes to join a half-marathon, then he trains so hard for several months. However, once he completed the race, he also stopped training. His main goal was to complete the half-marathon and after he had accomplished it, then he does not have a goal that can motivate him.

If all your hard work is focused mainly on a certain goal, then there’s nothing left to achieve anymore. This can hinder your progress in the long run. Keep reminding yourself that this is something that you would like to do for the rest of your life.

If you have a goal-based mindset, then essentially you will tell yourself to stop training since you have already reached your goal. On the contrary, if you did not reach your goal, then you will tell yourself that you are a failure.

On the other hand, if you have a systems-based mindset, then you can easily move on after a failure. This is not about hitting a certain target. What you have to do is to stick to the process and keep on training. Goals mainly focus on short-term accomplishments, but systems focus more on the long-term process. Eventually, systems will always come out as the winner.

Goals can let you control things.

Sometimes goals can be scary since it gives you the power to control the things that are beyond your control. The truth is, there is no way that you can predict the future. Sadly, each time you set a goal this is always what you’ve been trying to do. You already have a plan for everything, where and when you are going to achieve your goal. You can quickly make your predictions without taking into account the unexpected circumstances or situations that you will meet along the way.

The best way to deal with this is to monitor your progress. It might not seem so significant but doing this will help you check if you are doing the right things. If there is a drop in the results, then this tells you that you need to do something about it.

Choose Systems Over Goals

Although this does not mean that goals are not important. This will tell us that goals can be used for planning your improvement while systems are essential in making your progress.

The fact is everyone should slow down and create constant progress rather than chasing goals that seem impossible to accomplish.

But goals are also important since it can guide you in the right direction and help you to push forward but only for a shorter time. Ultimately, having a well-designed system will always emerge as a winner. Having an effective process is all that matters. Additionally, devoting to this system can truly make a big difference.

The Power of Systems

After you have refined your systems, then they will operate automatically. There is no need for you to make any decision since everything happens spontaneously. This is why systems are more powerful. Since you don’t need to think so much, then you can get things done and function more intuitively. Instead of the thinking mode, you are now in the doing mode.

To obtain the power of systems, they must be developed carefully to make sure that you can reach your goal step by step. By implementing a systematic approach in creating your system, you can gain a lot of benefits.

Systems can be accomplished easily.

After practicing your systems for a month, then it will be easier for your brain to perform them. You’ll just be doing them automatically and unconsciously, making them much easier to accomplish.

Systems will stick with you for life.

Essentially, your life is filled with systems that you have obtained from your life experiences. These could be emotional, academic, or useful systems. All of these systems that you have acquired will be embedded in your brain and eventually, they will stay with you for the rest of your life.

On the other hand, goals seem more difficult to achieve and they will just vanish once you have achieved them or you modified them. When this happens, you will embark on new goals. Systems have the tendency to surpass the goals that you are currently working on. For instance, if you have developed a meticulous work ethic, then you can apply this in any project.

Systems can help you exceed your goals.

If you are a writer and you aim to write a book, then you can have a great feeling after your accomplishment. However, if you develop a system of writing at least 1,000 words each day, then you can write a new book every two to three months.

Systems can be small depending on your needs.

When developing a system, you can start small. Once it has been embedded in your brain, then you can upgrade its complexity. For instance, if your goal is to read more, then you can start by reading 25 pages each day. After you are getting used to this routine, then you can increase the number of pages so you can achieve your goal.

Why Focusing on Systems Works Best?

Thinking big might be great, however, it will not bring you the right circumstances. If you are really committed to doing something, then you must perform the essential tasks needed in accomplishing your goal.

Systems are automatic and cultivating these systems can help you in achieving your goals. It can change your brain as well as your life.

If you want to make some changes in your life, then you have to spend more time thinking about the progress that you have accomplished after working on your systems. With this continued development, it will be possible for you to accomplish what you want in life. This will completely change your life.

Remember that focusing on your systems does not mean that you have to give up your goals or the things that you want to achieve in life.

While goals are more focused on the future, systems are more related to the present situations. Goals refer to a particular achievement that you want to achieve while systems are the things that you practiced each day, regardless of what your goal is.

Goals can be considered as external accomplishments while systems refer to your relationship within yourself and to other people.

By setting up your systems first, then integrating it with your goals, you can enjoy your journey as well as your destination.

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Daniel is the co founder of More Than Accountants and an ACCA Chartered Accountant. He will be more than happy to help More Than Accountants clients implement any guides or strategies that he has posted to the blog. If you would like to learn more about becoming a More Than Accountants client you can quote online by using our Unlimited Accountancy Services Quoting Tool.

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