Day 7 — Systems Over Goals



December 2020

Goals are essential, but they’re useless alone. We can break goals into systems and systems into habits. Each one holds value.

Goals provide direction. Systems provide momentum. Without direction, you'll focus on the wrong priorities. But without momentum, you’ll feel demotivated. So, find the right direction, but after that, focus on building the systems to get there.

Systems are a collection of habits that help you work on autopilot to spend less mental energy. This could be as simple as your morning routine — from brushing your teeth to walking outside to drinking coffee while scrolling through Twitter.

Systems are easy to build if you break them into sub-components. Focus on small, consistent habits because those are easier to change. That’s why Ship 30 for 30 is amazing — the goal is achievable. 250 words per day is nothing, but 1000 words per day is a much larger time commitment. But, by developing the habit of writing, you can write 1000 word more easily later on.

Changing pre-existing infrastructure is better than starting from scratch. So the faster you set up a baseline, the better off you’ll be.

Some goals might not need systems. Like most things, it depends. Systems are good for bigger goals, like building an audience. A goal like “I want to reach 10k on Twitter” is specific enough to give a good direction. From there, use a system like tweeting daily. Once that’s set up, build off of it. But focus on the easy habits first.

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by Amaan