Why systems are as important as goals in achieving what you want in business and life…
We’re almost approaching the end of January 2020 already. I know many people who kicked off the year, full of enthusiasm, by setting some big goals – which is great! I totally advocate setting goals… in both business and life. Goals give you focus and direction, and force you to think about where you want to get to. They can stop you drifting through life on autopilot, doing the same things and getting the same results. The problem is, many people set goals (or new years resolutions), without properly thinking through the processes, systems or habits required to achieve them.
I was fortunate enough to listen to ‘habits’ expert, James Clear at our Annual conference and awards ceremony last year and subsequently went on to read his best selling book ‘Atomic Habits’ (which I highly recommend!). Clear argues that more important that goal setting is developing the right habits or systems to support them.
Here are a few tips for getting started with developing the right habits for success and setting you on the right path to achieving YOUR goals this year.
Instead of telling yourself you’ll do an hours workout 5 times a week, start with 10 minutes a day… but do it consistently. Over time, you’ll naturally build up stamina and endurance and begin to do more, but consistency is key.
In the same way, I have worked with business clients of mine who have little or no systems in place to accurately track the numbers in their business. Again, my advice is to start small…
…pick one area that you can begin tracking each day / week or month, depending what it is, and do it consistently. Over time, you’ll see results.
Focus on marginal gains
Marginal gains / the compound effect / 1% better each day… there’s a huge amount written on this and for good reason – it works!
It can be easy to overlook the power of small daily improvements, but over time they add up huge.
Again, from a business perspective, I encourage clients to start small. For example, take one area of the business that could be systemized…document the process and train the relevant team members. Once one system is established, pick another. The gains over time are significant.
As Jim Rohn said
Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.
Focus on who you want to become, rather than what you want to achieve
Do you want to complete a half marathon (goal) or become a runner (habit). Build up the habit of becoming a runner and a half marathon will be easily achievable over time.
If you’re running a business, focus on the leader you want to become and build the right systems to recruit, train and develop your team. Your business will grow as you do.
Control your environment
How can you control your environment to make it easy to stick to new systems and build habits for success? Many people underestimate the power in optimizing their environment, but again small changes can have a big impact.
For example, how you organize your workspace can minimize distractions, setting up important tasks the night before, means they’re ready and waiting on your desk in the morning, or putting a tracking system somewhere visible so you’re plugging in the important numbers each week.