Just Why are Goals so Important to us?
The New Year of 2016 has come and gone. Am I only imagining it because New Year’s seem to come and go a lot quicker than they did when I was a kid, and look, it’s nearly the end of February.
New Year is usually a good time to make “New Year Resolutions”! I have made many resolutions and you’re probably reflecting on the ones you made recently too, but 2 years ago I stopped doing that. I started to understand why resolutions and setting goals never worked for me.
Don’t get me wrong, resolutions and setting goals for the New Year or a Business can be fun and should be made, but they may leave you in a state of despair or mild depression if you fail year after year, decade after decade, in accomplishing something that you felt was really worthy of the cause.
I believe we are all meant to be successful in our particular purpose and business.
So why do we fail to keep the goals we make?
It’s not because I don’t have the desire, motivation or goals in place – I had all that, but what I didn’t have in place were systems. The Solution: What You Need are Systems, Not Goals.
There’s a big difference between a Goal and a System
Here are some examples to explain the difference:
- As an Entrepreneur: Your goal is to earn a million dollars. Your system is the Marketing and Sales process.
- As a Sports Coach: Your Goal is to win a tournament. Your system is what your team does each day at the sports field.
- If you want to Lose Weight: Your Goal is to weight 96kg (btw that’s my goal). Your system is your training schedule or calorie tracking programme.
What if you completely ignored your goals?
Would you still have the same results?
I believe you would and perhaps have even better results than you’ve had, just by focusing on your systems.
If you were a businessman or businesswoman and ignored the goal of a million dollars and focused ONLY on your marketing and sales. I think you’d achieve your goal.
Scott Adams who wrote over 100000 words blogging last year says this. The average book contains 50000 words. That’s about 2 books. Did he set a goal to write 2 books. His answer, “NO!” In fact, he never had a goal to write 2 books. He ONLY focused on writing 2 articles per week. He focused ONLY on the process of doing the work necessary. In the end, he was very happy to learn that he could’ve written 2 books. He now knows he could plan to accomplish a goal like that in the future.
Mindset Shift from… “Am I Good Enough?”
This also really boils down to Mindset. Mindset training is one of the skills I have had to learn in my new role as an entrepreneur. It is essential for one’s success in any business and is one of the many reasons businesses fail today.
Goal setting actually reduces our current success and happiness because I am essentially saying that, “I am not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.” So you’re always putting off your success or happiness until you’ve reached your goal. How would you feel if you never reached your goal? A failure?
I might say to myself, “Once I weigh 96kg’s I’ll be successful.” or “Once I get that million dollars I will be happy.” You would too…but how would feel if you never reached that goal? A failure?
And so on and on it goes, unmet goals breed despair and a sense of failure. What do you think that would do to your “mindset”? This was the process I was faced with and have had to stop it when I realised I was self-destructing. I now focus on the systems I put in place. I have goals, which must be there, but they are not what I focus on.
The Solution: Commit to the Process, Not the Goal
Every time we focus on Goals we put huge stressors and burdens on ourselves. We do this all the time and I have seen it in my life, in others and in the work I set out to accomplish. It removes the joy of the moment and our ability to improve at the same time.
Successful businessmen build Networks and Systems. This is not to say that Goals are useless. They have their purpose, they are good for planning your progress.
Goals are good for planning your progress,
Systems are good for making progress
Goals give you direction and can keep you motivated in the short term but essentially well-designed systems always win.
Most importantly, no matter how many times you fail at goal setting for good causes, don’t give up. You can get there by deloping systems that will help you. Forget about the goals for now – think about your systems!