GOALS are the result & the destination while SYSTEMS are the process & the journey. GOALS often are not achieved because the goalsetter might be:

  • feeling overwhelmed

  • feeling like a failure

  • feeling unmotivated

Feelings can be defined as an individual’s response to the emotion as a reaction from the perception of a situation. While there are 4-8 basic universal emotions, feelings are much more elaborate and can be different from person to person. ex.: two people experience bad service at a restaurant. One person is angry and feels hurt in his pride, the other has understanding for the overworked staff. 

Feelings can be seen as a representation of a person’s inner state. SYSTEMS create an external environment that actively changes the emotional reaction. Whereas working toward a GOAL is always pre-success and thus failure (the literal definition of failure is absence of success), a SYSTEM allows you to have many mini-successes, making the GOAL feel more achievable. 

SYSTEMS is movement but GOALS (if seen as a substitute for SYSTEMS) can cause stagnation. Why?

  • Winners and losers have the same GOALS, putting you in a constant fight for survivorship, which might cause feelings of fatigue and despair. 

  • Achieving a GOAL is a temporary change because the process of doing hasn’t changed actively. 

  • GOALSrestrict your happiness. You might not allow yourself to be happy until you have achieved your GOAL. 

  • GOALS are at odds with long-term progress. Instead of feeling empty, when you have achieved your GOAL, a SYSTEM is a constant cycle that can exist for life. GOALS change, SYSTEMS evolve. 

How to set SYSTEMS:

  • set a GOAL

    • this is your destination or your focus point

    • ex.: read 60 books in a year

  • break down into steps

    • calculate the price you will have to pay for your GOAL

    • ex.: in order to read 60 books in a year, you have to read 5 books a month and three chapters a day

    • if you are able to go beyond your set step for that time period, that’s okay, too! 

  • create a social contract

    • choose someone to hold you accountable or do this with a friend

    • ex.: join a book club or read the same book as your sister

  • set a time and place

    • this will also help you with repetition & consistency

    • ex.: reading three chapters every morning at breakfast before school

  • allow space for experimenting

    • sometimes you need to find out what works for you individually. Try out different routes and see what feels good for you. 

    • it’s okay to be imperfect! 

Link your SYSTEM to a new trigger:

  • replace your lost needs

  • use “but” to interrupt negative thoughts

  • associate role models with your goals

Through SYSTEMS you have the choice to not let environmental factors control your GOAL but to change your feelings about your GOAL actively step by step until you have achieved your GOAL.

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