Growing up, I read a lot of personal development literature that talked about the importance of setting goals. Without a clear objective you’re aiming to achieve, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever reach your destination.

As I’ve grown older however, I, like many others have seen first hand how ‘goals’ may not be the most effective approach.

When you have a goal, you’re inevitability, putting all your “eggs in one basket” so to speak. In some cases, goals can work. But more often that not having a systems approach to what you’re trying to accomplish works much better in the long run.

For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, you could set a specific goal weight. But what after all your hard work you’re off by a few pounds? Should your efforts be considered a failure? Or perhaps you’re trying to eat healthier. You could say you’re only going to eat X, but what if you slip up?

A systems approach allows you to focus on your behaviors rather than the outcome and helps build momentum as you progress.

In the case of losing weight, instead of focusing on the end goal, you could commit to do a workout three times a week. Inevitably you’ll make progress towards your “goal” if you stick with the system. You won’t have to beat yourself up for not reaching the exact destination. A proper system will help you get there as long as you continue taking another step.

Instead of framing your goals, consider the systems that will help you become the person you want to be. It’s far more empowering to focus on the process rather than get caught up in a shiny goal.