Set Systems, Not Goals

James Clear is my favorite motivational guru. His e-book Transform Your Habits explains his philosophy that success lies in one’s daily agenda (in what a person does every day). I loved this piece from Clear on his preference for implementing systems for yourself (or your team) rather than setting goals. Clear’s idea brings to mind one of my favorite Nick Saban quotes that he said at his introductory press conference at Alabama: “I’m not going to tell you how many hampionships we’re going to win, I’m going to tell you how we’re going to do it: by working relentlessly every day on the plan we put in place.”

None of this is to say that goals are useless. However, I’ve found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.

Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.


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