rely on systems, not on willpower

rely on systems, not on willpower

As we look at our mighty goals, most of us rely on willpower to bridge the gap from where we are right now and where we desire to be in the future. However, this approach doesn’t work all the time. 

An effective strategy is to set up systems that help you achieve your top three goals; you can’t rely on your willpower alone. Once that is done, just forget the goals and focus exclusively on the systems. Systems always trump goals. 

In his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, Scott Adams too talks about using systems instead of goals. He writes: “Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good every time they apply their system. That’s a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.”

If we get the system right, achieving our goals becomes easier and effortless. For instance, instead of working harder to save money regularly for your emergency fund and stay on top of your bill payments, set up biweekly or monthly automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account and automatic bill pay. It might require a little work at the front, but in the long run, it’ll make your financial journey easier and more streamlined. 

Goal achieving, you see, is not rocket science. When you set up reliable systems like this and depend on them every day instead of your willpower, you empower yourself to transform your good intentions into real and concrete actions that move you forward to your big goals.