System vs Goals

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Let’s talk about system vs.


Now goals is something that we talked about in the science section of the course.

We need goals.

We need to have a clear defined SMART goal system so that we know where we want to get.

We almost talked about it as well in the creating a roadmap.

We need to have a roadmap of where we want to be.

But I’m here to tell you that goals are good but systems are even better.

What do I mean by this.

Well we’re going to use the concept formed by Scott Adams here in his book How to Fail at Almost Everything

and Still Win Big.

And I really like the equation that he describes in his book and that is success in life usually comes

from skills that you obtain that you learn as well as luck.

Just because you obtain a lot of skills just because you’re an efficient learner you’re not guaranteed

success luck still plays a role in our lives.

Unfortunately that’s something that we just don’t have control over.

Genetics is part of luck where you’re born is part of the luck.

We have control over the skills that we obtain.

But at the end of the day there’s this part that we can’t control and that’s the problem right.

When we create goals we assume that we have control over our lives and we do.

But we tend to ignore this luck part.

So by having a system instead of a goal we actually can incorporate this luck side of the equation.

We also have this idea of procrastination right.

It’s easy for us to procrastinate and not focus on a topic or think oh I’m never going to get to this

goal so I’m not going to even bother.

But what we can do instead is to create systems.

For example if you have two goals One is to put 20 minutes into studying every day or 20 minutes into

learning how to code every day.

That is a system a goal.

On the other hand is I need to build this project one task is actually easier to do than the other.

Working 20 minutes each day is a system.

I can do that in 20 minutes right vs.

I need to build this project.

That’s a big goal with a clear end but it is more prone to us procrastinating because it seems a lot

harder to get to by creating a system instead of a goal we think about the small chunks of time that

we need so that we do things each day that have long term effects.

For example we talked about this in the Pomodoro Technique right Pomodoro is a process we don’t talk

about what should we do in those twenty five minutes.

Instead it’s a system in place that we say just work for twenty five minutes be focused and then take

five minutes of break.

There’s no completion of a task now this is a contentious topic because we also learned that goals are

important clearly defined SMART goals that is measurable goals that are specific are important as well.

But if you find yourself being the type of person that doesn’t accomplish their goals or finds procrastination

easy then systems and processes is what you need and systems can also be thought of as habits right.

Systems eventually become into habits.

So think of goals as rigid objectives.

This is how you get it done and there’s no black and white system is a way for you to do something regularly

on the expectation that we constantly are improving.

So use these two systems based on the type of person that you are.

For example let’s say our goal was to lose weight and lose let’s say 25 pounds.

If you’re the type of person that doesn’t procrastinate that can actually be motivated by a goal like

this and can have a specific goal that says I’m going to lose 25 pounds by this date and you’re successful

then you should stick with goals but if you’re the type of person that has difficulty setting goals

maybe New Year’s resolutions are really hard for you to finish then systems might be better.

So instead of I want to lose twenty five pounds say I want to start eating healthier systems give us

this flexibility to adapt to new situations and this luck equation.

Sometimes luck is involved.

Sometimes we aren’t able to do things because things have come up in our lives.

And when something comes up and we don’t finish our goals are specific goals.

It doesn’t make us feel good.

We feel like losers but instead if we had a system in place where the goal is to eat healthy well then

once a week if I eat junk food that might still be better than what I used to do before which was eat

junk food twice a week.

The way that I like to recommend it is like this.

Goals are really good for short and simple small tasks things that you can usually do in a day.

But if there’s something that you want to accomplish over the year if you want to accomplish something

over your life instead of a goal have a system career goals are really good to have systems vs.



A lot of people say they want to work remotely.

That’s a goal.

But what is the reason you want to work remotely.

Maybe the reason you want to work remotely is that you want to be location independent.

You want to not have to commute to work so maybe a system might be a better option for you.

Instead of saying I want to work remotely by the end of the year instead you can say I want to reduce

my commute.

I want to commute less or I want to have more autonomy over my work now.

Another big thing when it comes to goals is that you don’t want to make them too big because you won’t

finish them.

Remember goals are really good for shorter term things.

Systems are better for longer term.

So this is what I’d like to do when I plan my learning.

I usually like creating a to do list but the To Do lists are usually process oriented if they’re long


For example if it’s something short like respond to this e-mail that’s a nice easy goal that I can write

and my to do list.

But if all my to do list is to create a new course that usually takes over six months.

My goal is to just say work 15 minutes on this course.

It’s a system now.

We also know that when we have large to do lists we don’t want to be busy all the time.

We want to use the diffuse mode of thinking as well to make sure that we take breaks and obviously and

makes learning more enjoyable when we’re able to take breaks.

That’s what we learned with the Pomodoro Technique.

We also learned about having a quitting time right where at the end of the day we eventually have a

time where we stop working on our goals or our systems have a quitting time in place.

We talked about writing down your goals physically writing goals and systems down is a good practice.

Another thing that is really useful with goals and something that we mentioned in the Pomodoro Technique

is the idea of working on the most difficult task first.

And Brian Tracy who wrote Eat That Frog which I thought was a really funny titled book pretty much says

that start with the most difficult task first to get that over with.

And it makes your day better because you feel more accomplished.

Even if you don’t do anything else the rest of the day.

So the big takeaway from this video is that skills we obtain are sometimes affected by luck and we want

to make ourselves successful and having goals big goals that might not be able to get accomplished is

going to make us more prone to procrastinate and turn around when we encounter an obstacle.

If we have systems in place then we’re more likely to stick to that specific goal.

I’ll see in the next one.

Bye by.

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