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Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That’s the counterintuitive thing about improvement: We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results.
The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. It’s not about any single accomplishment, but about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.
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Example: If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
Any goal or project will usually have these basic qualities:
When a goal has high uncertainty as to what level is achievable to reach within a particular time-frame, it is better to set specific targets in the middle of the process.
Plan your goals with the variables you do have: overall direction, time-frame, level of effort and strategies.