top of page

Set Systems Instead Of Goals

“You don't rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems” - James Clear, Atomic Habits.

Looking to stay on top of your game without comparing yourself to others and setting hard goals on yourself? This article is just the thing you need!

To begin with, Let’s understand the difference between a Goal and a System.

As explained in Atomic Habits, a goal is a result you want to achieve and a system is a process that leads to those results.

It’s like the saying “life isn't about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

Goals are hyper-focused on the destination and systems are embracing the journey.

The purpose of setting goals is to win the game and the purpose of building a system is to continue playing the game.

True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It is not about any single accomplishment, it is about a cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.

For example, If your space is a mess; you set a goal to clean it, and once you accomplish that goal, the result you get is a cleanroom. But this is only Temporary because your habits of not putting things back to where they belong haven't changed.

The outcome will always be the same because the input/system did not change.

Once you change your inputs, your outputs will automatically change.

Well, now that you understand the differences, how can you build an effective system?

1. The First and the most important step to building a system is to Identify what is essential - With the clarity of purpose, It is easy to say no to the non-essential, so we can say yes to the essentials.

“ It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at the highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential” - Essentialism (the book).

2. Choose to invest in yourself- “ When we forget our ability to choose, we learn to be helpless. Drip by drip we allow our power to be taken away until we end up becoming a function of other people’s choices or even a function of our own past choices, in turn, we surrender our power to choose”- Essentialism (The book).

The essentialist does not just recognize the power of choice, he celebrates it. So, choose for yourself and choose you. We are after all our best assets!

3. Actively carve out time for what is most important - It could be making time to talk to your loved ones, spending time working on your skin-care routine, or even working out for at least an hour a day.

Let’s end this with a quote from Atomic Habits:

“ When you fall in love with the process rather than the product you don't have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy.”

You can be satisfied at any time your system is running and a system can be successful in many different forms; Not just the one you first envision.


Meghna Nalamothula

Recent Posts

See All

Stoicism to Win The Day!

Stoicism is full of wisdom on how best to handle the afflictions we face while at the same time, live a righteous life. Stoicism is quite an old school of philosophy, but its guidance is as relevant t


bottom of page