Goals v. Systems

Over all of my life I’ve been told that setting goals and then striving for those goals are critical in achieving what I want out of life. While it has served me well over the first half of my life, I am finding that as I get older, setting goals has been less and less valuable.


The problem with simply setting goals is there is often no daily action behind the goal. With most goals they get written down on, stuck on a bathroom mirror and then unceremoniously removed a few months later.


The other issue with setting goals is that most people have very little control over the outcome of their goal. While getting an A+ on every test in College is an admirable goal, what if one class is simply too hard? While making the NBA out of College is fantastic, what if you just miss the cut?  Have you totally failed in your goals? Or was the outcome out of your control?


I would argue that with the above goals the outcome was out of your control.


Rather than setting goals which may be outside ones control, I would recommend putting systems in place which are fully inside your control.  It is well within your control how many hours you study per night, how many free throws you shoot after practice, or how many hours per day you waste by swiping, streaming, liking or clicking. By controlling those things you can control will get you closer to your ultimate outcome.


Let me share with you one example from my life. One of my objectives is to retire from the Navy in two years and live off my current investments and income from my small businesses. While I am close, I need about $1,000 – 1,500 extra per month to live at my desired lifestyle. So there are a few systems I have put in place in order to help me achieve that objective. The first system is that while traveling I do not watch TV, Movies, or any other electronic entertainment whether on the airplane or hotel room, and rather I spend that time focused on making passive income.


While I have not yet achieved my 1k – 1.5k objective, over my last week of travel (I’m currently in Belgium)  I’ve published my first three ebooks on Amazon and am very close to publishing my fourth. Whether they sell or not is out of my control; however, the system i put in place allowed me to move closer to my objective.


So if healthy living, an Iceland vacation or getting rid of school debt is your objective, what are the daily, weekly or monthly SYSTEMS you will put in place to achieve those objectives?

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