To Achieve your Goals, Build Systems

You might understand the power of setting a goal, but that’s just the beginning. A goal is where you want to end up, but it doesn’t tell you how to get there. As you write down your goals and then break those down into smaller goals, your action plan for achieving those smaller goals is what turns into your system. For example, you breakdown your 1-year goal into 4 sets of 90-day goals, with a weekly action that will eventually get you to your goal. Those weekly actions create your system. Creating systems that move you toward success is the real path to success.

For example, a successful business always has a system for generating sales. There are sales goals but the system, the action plan for achieving those goals, is what moves the company toward that sales goal.

You already have a lot of systems. You have a system for mowing and trimming your grass. You have a system for making sure you have clean clothes on Monday morning.

 When you set a new goal, it’s important to create new systems. 

Follow this process to create effective systems that lead to your success: 

  • Know your goal but focus on how to get there. Let’s imagine that your goal is to run a marathon in nine months. Sounds awesome! Let’s focus on how you might get there. Let’s also imagine that you haven’t run in years, and you have 20 pounds to lose if you want to increase your odds of success.

    • With research, you discover that you need to ultimately have a long run of 20 miles every other week to have a good chance of finishing a marathon. You also know that you need to work up to a weekly mileage of at least 40 miles per week. Armed with this knowledge, you can create a plan.

    • You know that you need to lose 20 pounds, so a diet of some sort might be in order.

    • You also believe that you need to learn more about running.

  • Formulate a support goal. You know that you need to ultimately have a long run of 20 miles every other week, work up to 40 miles per week, and lose 20 pounds. You also need to learn more about running. These are support goals.

    • Your “systems” will be the way you choose to accomplish these support goals.

    • One way to develop your systems is to work backward.

  • Work backward. Obviously, you can’t just go out and run 20 miles if you haven’t run in years. You’re also not going to lose 20 pounds in a day. Trying to run 40 miles the first week will lead to injury and a loss of motivation.

    • If you need to have a 20-mile run every other week, the week or two prior to running 20 miles, you need to run 19. Before that, 18. Keep working back until you have a number you can do your first week. Build a schedule.

    • Over the next 9 months, you need to work up from just a few miles to 40 miles. Again, build a schedule.

    • Perhaps on Sunday, you will create a menu for the week and do your shopping as a way of helping to lose those 20 pounds.

    • You might also decide to read for an hour each week about running.

    • Now, your goal each week is to follow your plan. Monitor how well you’re sticking to your plan. The end goal is just the destination. The key is to focus on your systems in order to get there.

Each goal will require different systems. For example, if you’re a real estate agent and want to sell $10 million worth of real estate this year, your systems might be to:

  • Call 25 expired listings each week.
  • Send out 100 postcards each month looking for new buyers and sellers.
  • Go to three networking events each month.
  • Ask everyone you know if they’re interested in buying or selling a home.

Here’s a glimpse at a system that I am looking to implement in my own life.

Goal: Eat healthier, which means less refined sugar, mostly plant-based, 1 green juice every weekday, healthy snacking.

Support Goals:

  • Meal Prep: Use gallon storage bags and put everything I need to make 1 juice in the bag, with the exception of cucumber and turmeric which I grab when I’m grabbing my juice bag out of the fridge. This makes it quick and easy to make my juice in the mornings. Use mason jars to build and store salads to take to work for lunch. Reusable containers filled with baby carrots, celery sticks, peanut butter, and a piece of fruit serve as my snacks throughout the day. Each morning, I grab a mason jar and a snack box and I’m out the door. I will schedule the time in my calendar to make sure the prep work happens every weekend.
  • Meal planning: Create a 30-60 day meal plan and re-use every 30-60 days. At this time, I’m considering a 60-day meal plan because I need variety, but I think a 30-day meal plan will work if I use 30 different recipes. Still working on that.
  • Use my garden to grow veggies that I love to eat. I get so excited when I harvest veggies from my garden. It makes it fun to eat the veggies but it’s also a sense of pride that I was able to grow my own healthy food and know how it was grown. I control the fertilizer and the pesticides that are used in my garden so I know what we are eating.

 

Effective systems are doable and will guarantee success. Create systems that make it impossible to fail. Poor systems or poor compliance lead to poor results.

Set your goals and then focus on developing effective systems. If you create good systems and follow them, you’ll be that much closer to achieving success.