Don’t Set Goals, Create Systems

Whenever we see someone sharing their success story, we often hear about goal-setting.

How someone actually set goals, worked really hard for it and achieved the success. Behind every such motivational story you hear, there are 100s and 1000s failure stories.

The amount of success people get when they set goals, is very limited. 1 in 100s or 1000s.

The reason goal setting resonates with most people because there is emotional story attached to it, there is strong emotional bond is created…that’s why most actually believe that goal setting works for most people.

In fact, it doesn’t. Now I am not discounting value of goal setting here but there is critical missing component which is almost always missing when it comes to it.

That critical missing component is sheer responsible factor for your failure in goal setting.

What’s that component ?

The missing component is SYSTEMS.

What is System Anyways ?

A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method (Wikipedia)

Why it’s even necessary to put the system?

As classically said by Edward Demmings (Godfather of Industrial Movement in Japan)

People want to succeed. They don’t want to turn out lousy work. If your people are consistently failing then its not your fault, it’s system’s fault.

In CAT, many students are consistently failing because they don’t know the power of systems. The other reason could be, they were not taught to think systematically in the first place.

Why System Thinking is critical component in your goal setting ?

Before we understand this, let’s take a look at the stories which have motivational background.

If you drill down the motivational stories,luck was a huge part.

You can’t control luck, so what advice worked for someone in that time doesn’t mean it should work in every single time.

But you can make it easier for luck to find you.

Build the system to move you in right direction. If there is some problem, don’t change your goals, correct the system to move again in right direction.


How come McDonald is able to sell Billion Dollars of Shitty & Overpriced products over and over again ?

Not because their product is best quality or they have best sales force or they have good advertising/marketing.

None of this. It is because they have created the greatest system for selling the products i.e franchising.

How you can integrate into your practice ?

Creating rituals, goals, habits that need to be completed at regular intervals of time to ensure your success.

Take a look at Olympic Runners or Athletes who practice day in day out to make sure they predictably increase their chances of winning.

Do they rely on luck ?

Not at all.

  1. System people always use system to get success.
  2. Goals are like fighting discouragement every turn.

That’s why reading loss and redemption stories of CAT aspirants is a surefire recipe of failure.

Let’s understand why system is more important ?

When you focus on practice rather than performance, you can enjoy present moment & improve at same time.

If your goal is to complete half marathon, then after you achieve that goal you become complacent and stop but instead if you have processes to ensure you run half marathon then you make sure tweak the process so you can increase it to full marathon.

Goals for short term and process for long term.

It creates yo-yo effect where we go back and forth, difficult to progress in longer term.

Instead of working hard, let the system work hard to make you successful. If you fail to achieve something, don’t try harder, just tweak the system smarter.

Commit to process and not to goals.

Rely less on willpower and more on systems.

So if you want to get rid of your procrastination, information overload , want to create more mental focus. I talk about creating such systems to out-think your fatal flaws

Out-think your flaws : How to Make Flaws Irrelevant ?

Here is the mind-map

Mindmap for Out-think your Flaws

If you want to learn in depth about creating systems/rituals of success. Learn them here

CAT Preparation for Working Professionals

The following two tabs change content below.
Sukrut is a passionate geek, internet visionary and a full time blogger, he has been teaching MBA students from the past two years, he is a chemical engineer by qualification,. Read my full story here



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>