by David Ly Khim
A new year calls for new years resolutions. It’s wonderful because people are taking the time to set goals for themselves (sometimes for the first time, congrats!).
You’ve probably seen dozens of posts and tweets about goals of losing weight or getting a 4.0 gpa. You may be among them.
The harsh reality is that most goals this year will not be achieved.
How to make sure you will achieve your goals
First, set your goals.Then, forget them.
What if you stopped focusing on the goal itself, and instead focus on how you will achieve your goals?
My time-wasting mistake you should avoid (at all costs)
My list of goals usually looked something like this:
Get back into working out
Read 5 books
Get a 4.0 gpa
Do you see the mistake I made?
I often found myself setting the same goals over and over again, but not making any progress. It felt nice to say I had goals, but that’s where I would hit a roadblock.
It’s because I didn’t have a plan for how I would achieve those goals. I just knew I wanted to accomplish them. I had already failed.
Are you stuck in the same rut? Have you set goals in the past, but a few months later, you realized you hadn’t made any progress on them?
The problem with setting goals is you’re too focused on what you want to achieve, rather than how you’re going to achieve it.
I wish someone told me this earlier so I wouldn’t have spent so much time learning the hard way.
How to apply systems to your goals
If you want to read more, your goal is to finish a book. Your system is your reading schedule that you will follow every day.
If you want to lose weight, your goal is to work out. Your system is your training schedule for the next six months.
If you’re a student, you goal is to get a 4.0 gpa. Your system is your study schedule that you will stick to for the semester.
If your goal is to lose weight, that’s great, but the desire to lose weight won’t make it happen. One way to lose weight would be to exercise, but it would be better to take the extra step and be more specific. For example: you will do yoga for one hour every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That’s your system.
Most students want a 4.0 gpa, but not all students will come up with a system to get that precious number. Don’t jump on that bandwagon. Don’t focus on the 4.0.
Focus instead on setting aside time everyday to study for your classes. It could be as simple as spending 20 minutes before lecture to review the notes from your last lecture then taking another 20 minutes after lecture to review the notes you just took.
It doesn’t matter when you decide to schedule these study blocks, just make sure to treat them as appointments you can’t miss. You have to study at that specified time. That’s your system.
Do that for the entire semester and you’re bound to get that 4.0.
It’s not about what you want to achieve, it’s how you’re going to achieve it.
Notice in the above examples that the focus is not on the end goal. The focus is on the system.
It’s about the journey–how you get to your destination–not the destination itself.
What systems will you set up for this year to achieve your goals? Feel free to share them with us by leaving a comment below.
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