Back in late February, I began reading ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear after seeing a ton (and I mean a ton) of people raving about how it completely changed the ways they see goals and goal setting. I was intrigued by it, however, I thought people were exaggerating. Nevertheless, I decided to read it. And let me tell you: it’s worth all the hype it gets.
The book is written in such an easy to digest way and it explains in extreme detail how you should approach setting goals and strategies you can adopt to help you achieve them. It completely changed the way I see goal setting.
The principle of the whole book is that habits are what make your goals achievable. Without a good system of habits, it’s practically impossible to achieve any goals. Systems are where the magic happens.
SYSTEMS VS GOALS
Let’s start with the basics: what is a goal and what it a system.
A goal is something you may or may not achieve in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of achieving something in the long run. Goals can’t survive without systems, plain and simple.
Goals are great starting points to put in place your systems – they help you stay motivated but should not be the only thing you think about. Don’t let yourself be consumed by your goal as that will lead you to.
HOW CAN I SET SYSTEMS TO ACHIEVE MY GOALS?
When setting any goal, you need to identify your why. This sounds kinda deep but I promise it’s much easier than it seems. All you need to do is to take a look at your current situation and see how you’re feeling. Then, think about how you’d like to feel in your ideal world. Write down what you’d like to achieve in order to get yourself into that ideal world state. Those are your goals.
From there you can start thinking about what systems you can put in place in order for you to reach that desired state.
Now, you need to set up systems that will help you achieve those goals. To do that ask yourself:
WHAT ARE THE ACTIONABLE STEPS THAT I CAN TAKE TO GET TO MY IDEAL WORLD STATE?
Let’s suppose your goal is to lose 10kg. How can you do that? Here’s an example of the steps you could take:
- Remove all sweets from the house
- Start eating in a smaller plate
- Eat a bowl of vegetable soup before every meal
- Go for a 45-minute walk/jog 4 times a week
- Do 30 crunches every morning
If you want to know a few strategies on how to actually implement your system in your life, I have a whole post about the beginners guide to creating new habits. On that post, I go in-depth about what things you can do in order to implement good habits/ systems in your life and how to maintain them.