16 mins read time
Goal Setting Is Dead. Here’s What You Should Be Doing…
Want to lose 10lbs of body fat?
There’s a system for that.
Want a $10,000/month Freedom Business?
There’s also a system for that.
When you start moving from a GOAL mindset to a SYSTEM mindset, you start to realise the real keys to the personal peace of mind and happiness you’ve been looking for are NOT tied up in the endless cycle of trying to achieve goals.
Goals reduce your current happiness
- James Clear
Chances are you have a goal or a series of goals that you want to achieve right now… and when you get these goals you will be happy forever… right?
Personally, I used to forever be caught up in the endless hamster wheel of setting really high goals and aggressively pursuing them, then feeling deflated when I actually DO get the goal (not to mention the outright soul destroying actions and days leading up to actually achieving the goal).
I’ve slogged through gruelling workouts and eating neverending chicken and broccoli to shred the body fat and get abs: CHECK. Now what?
I’ve slogged through days and days (and nights) of endless work on a laptop to launch new businesses: CHECK. Now what?
As I talk about briefly in the video above… when you set a goal, you immediately decrease your personal happiness as you see the mountain in front of you that you have to climb to get there and you won’t be TRULY happy until you get that goal.
The problem with setting goals is that as soon as you set a new one: it actually DECREASES your happiness RIGHT NOW.
Which leads to demotivation to actually do anything about it.
So what’s the alternative?
How do you stay happy, motivated and excited about life when what you want isn’t here yet?
The glorious answer: SYSTEMS.
Let’s zoom out for a second.
When you think about it…
The world and everything in it is simply a group of systems all working together to produce outcomes.
Your body itself has a series of systems that automatically work together to keep you running (the respiratory system, the nervous system, the heart, the lungs, the skin, the brain)… all of those are beautiful systems that produce outcomes (keep you alive).
Now a system is simply a closed group of checklists.
When we talk about something like losing 10lbs, for example… the system could be called “fat loss”.
To lose fat (as proven by science)… you have to consume less calories than you burn.
That’s the system.
The checklist would look like this:
- Determine how many calories you need each day for your age, current weight and height
- Determine a daily menu based on reducing these calories whilst maintaining energy levels and overall health
- Determine an exercise plan
- Prepare and eat the exact pre-determined meals each day
- Follow the exercise plan
- Repeat steps 4 & 5 until desired goal is reached.
So now we’ve defined the goal (lose 10lbs) but instead of stopping there, we’ve defined the SYSTEM that will produce that goal.
Here’s the critical part: Now you need to decide where YOU fit in the system.
And the fun part: YOU don’t have to be the one to physically to do it all!
In the above example you may not be an expert in the “determine how many calories” or “determine a menu” or “determine an exercise plan”...
This is where it gets really cool.
You have 2 options:
You can OUTSOURCE these part to experts to do the work for you (fastest and generally best results) OR
You can search online for the information you need.
In this particular system I would outsource EVERYTHING apart from the actual eating of the food, and doing the work in the gym.
Unfortunately reality dictates that you have to do these things. Believe me, if I could outsource the actual lifting weights side of things, I would.
Everything else outsourced.
KNOW THIS... "YOU ARE WHAT YOU DON’T OUTSOURCE"
Now let’s now apply this to a Freedom Business.
In our yearly training program over at Timothy Marc called Secret Society Mastermind, we teach people how to build an online business that funds a life of freedom and adventure.
That’s the system we teach: Online Business
The goal of the system: $10,000/mo and time freedom.
This goal changes depending on your level… but this is a good beginner goal to shoot for as most people could live very well, in any location they choose, for $10,000/mo.
So for an example of the actual system let’s take a look at the one I mentioned in the above video: James Clear’s business (which inspired this article).
The particular online business vehicle he has chosen is Information Products (something we also have a module inside our training on).
Info products are great because you produce valuable content ONCE then can sell it for an unlimited amount of times.
The online system will automatically take orders and deliver the product without you having to physically be there, deliver any product or even talk to a customer.
An example of the CHECKLIST for this system would be this:
Note that there would be a sub-checklist for each of these items. I’m giving you the “zoom out” view.
Determine valuable content that people would pay for
Produce initial content
Build website + blog + email list capture system
Produce paid content
Launch and sell content to email list
Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 monthly until you hit goal. Then repeat to maintain.
Now the beauty of this business is that every single component can be outsourced, which is the goal of this system ($10k/mo with full time freedom).
I think James writes his own content, because he’s really good at it and seems to enjoy it (I write all my own content too) - but even this can be outsourced.
So here’s the thing...
Before you go to do ANYTHING worthwhile...
Make sure you have defined:
The overall SYSTEM and its goals
The checklists within that system (to hit the goals)
Your role in the system
Remember… YOU don’t have to be the one to do the checklist items.
In most cases it’s the inefficient way to go about it.
And the best part about thinking in SYSTEMS rather than GOALS is that EVERY SINGLE DAY you can feel like a winner as opposed to feeling uneasy or depressed until the goal is reached.
More on this stuff later. I love systems so much I could write a whole book on it.
Let me know in the comment section below if you wish to learn more on this...
Thanks to James Clear for his article.
Thanks to Atul Gawande for The Checklist Manifesto.
And special thanks to Sam Carpenter for his amazing book Work The System which has helped me achieve this mindset in life and business.
Music in video:
The League Vol.1 -
Space Kitchen - Josh Tweek -
Intermission Tape Vol.1 - disco burger -
Intermission Tape Vol.1 - sumthin gunny -
Goal Setting Is Dead. Here’s What You Should Be Doing...