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Systems vs Goals:Ditch Goals and Build Systems that Work…Guaranteed !

Systems vs Goals: Why is setting Goals not always the best method ?

Most of us are familiar with the concept of setting goals. They can be useful for providing focus and direction and a sense of accomplishment when achieved.

But what if I told you there is a better way to achieve success in life?

That’s right, it’s time to ditch goals and build systems that work every time!

When it comes to success, goals can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they can provide focus and direction, helping us to achieve a desired outcome. On the other hand, setting too many goals can be overwhelming and can lead to feelings of failure and disappointment if not met.

Also the journey of following goals leaves us with a feeling on vacuum once you achieve a goal. Then you need to take another goal in order to move on. And the process repeats.

That’s why some experts suggest that ditching goals and focusing on systems instead might be the key to success.

Systems vs Goals : Goals may end in unhappiness in any outcome

When it comes to goal setting, the focus is often on the end result. You set a goal, and then you expend all your energy trying to achieve it. The problem is that this can lead to tunnel vision and leave you feeling drained and frustrated if you don’t reach the goal. You may also feel discouraged if you don’t meet the goal in the expected timeline.

Switching to systems instead of goals can help you avoid these frustrations and keep you motivated. Systems are based on habit forming and taking small, consistent steps towards success. To use a system, you need to break down your goals into smaller, achievable tasks and focus on these individual tasks. This allows you to make progress and focus on your progress instead of the goal itself.

An Example of System vs Goals

What Happened when I Achieved a goal of Reducing Weight from 198 lbs to 154 lbs

When I took a goal to reduce my weight through Heavy HIIT ( High Intensity Interval Training), I reduced my weight within 2 months from 90 kgs (198 lbs) to 70 kgs (154 lbs). Though it gave me a lot of confidence and a sense of achievement for a short period of time (not to mention, bragging rights ! ) , it was only temporary.

I bounced back to 85 kgs as soon as I focused more on my work and less on the High Intensity Training. The advantage was short lived, and I could not motivate myself to keep working out heavily with the Keto Diet that I was following.

How Systems approach proved better than Goals in this case

2 years later, I got married, and my wife always spoke about systems and their advantages.

I decided to give it a shot.

A reliable system for Weight Loss : System vs Goals

We developed a weight loss system for ourselves – a lifestyle that was supposed to yield for us.

It relied on thorough research on the following elements of good health.


Taking in the right quantity of calories in the right mix of Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fat, Minerals, and Water


Ensuring 8 hours of sleep everyday

Training & Workouts

Strength Training daily for 30-45 minutes ( with limited HIIT and Cardio excercises only twice a week )

This system started working for us strongly. The initial 3 weeks showed no results on the scale, but we were feeling the strength building within. The body was slowly getting flexible and strong at the same time. We started seeing our weights dropped and fat ratio decreasing in the 2nd month, and it kept decreasing for the next 8 months.

Results of following a system vs taking a goal

  • I reduced my weight from 85 Kgs to 67 Kgs in 8 months.
  • I never felt the pressure to do so, its a daily routine like brushing the teeth.
  • I enjoy working out and eating light ( and tasty as well)
  • I feel healthier than ever.

Advantages of Systems

systems vs goals - Scott Adams
Scott Adams talks in-depth about ‘How Systems are Better than Goals’

‘Dilbert’ fame Scott Adams is a strong proponent of systems thinking over goal thinking.

Goals are for Loosers !

Scott Adams

Comparing systems vs goals, systems can help you stay motivated and focused on the process. Starting with small, achievable tasks can provide short-term successes that will keep you going.

Systems also allow you to measure your progress more accurately than goals. As you make progress, you can adjust the system to maximize your efforts and increase your chances of success.

Systems Are Flexible

Systems can also be more flexible than goals. With goals, you set the goal and then work towards it. With systems, you can adjust the process as you go, making it easier to adapt to unexpected changes or challenges.

Systems Develop Habit Patterns for Life

Finally, systems will help you develop good habits that will last. Once you form habits that are leading you to success, these habits will become part of your daily routine. This makes it easier to stay motivated and on track even when times get tough.

Also Read : James Clear on Systems vs Goals

The Bottom Line

Goal setting can be a great way to get motivated and stay focused on success, but it isn’t the only way. Ditching goals and focusing on systems instead can help you stay motivated and make more consistent progress towards your goals.

Systems can help you develop good habits, stay flexible, and measure your progress more accurately than goals.

So ditch the goals and build systems that work every time.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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