The new year is well underway. Most people would have already set their new year resolutions or goals for this year. This is a good start, but goals and resolutions alone will not get you the success you need. Goals are endpoints, and you need to come up with systems that guide you in your journey to the endpoints.
Let me illustrate this with a practical example.
I’ve just started my training for the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon (56km) and Comrades Marathon (90km) which are taking place in April and June respectively. Those two races are the goals and the training schedule I have is the system that will guide me to complete the races successfully.
Finish Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and Comrades Marathon.
Running training days – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Gym strength training days – Monday (morning) and Wednesday (afternoon).
Rest day – Friday.
Training times – Morning (wake up at 6am, start workout at 6:30am).
Sleep – Try be in bed by 10pm most nights to get 8 hours sleep (important for recovery).
Diet – Just after my workouts I mainly focus on ensuring I take in high-quality protein and fast-digesting carbs for muscle recovery and energy refuelling.
Accountability – I am in a few WhatsApp groups with people who are chasing the same goals and we check on each other’s progress frequently. I also share all my runs publicly on Strava and Instagram so I would hope that if I stopped for some reason, someone would ask me what is going on.
With this system in place and if I follow it I give myself a good chance of achieving my goals. Of course there will be days when I will miss a workout or sleep well after 10pm. I am a human not a robot, so the system will be broken on some days, however, the idea is to follow the system more often than not.
Once you have a system in place that should become your focus and achieving your goals will be a result of you being disciplined and following your system. I hope the example above illustrates the concept a bit clearer.
This same approach can be used for all your other goals. It is not limited to running or fitness. Whether you are trying to start a new business, learn a new skill, grow your savings or write a book, you need to come up with a system that will help you work towards your goal.
I wish you all the best in your goals for the year. Let’s build those systems and stick to them.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. – James Clear (author of Atomic Habits)
Tshivhidzo Makungo says
Great timing as we starting 2023 with new resolutions, goals and habits.
Thank you for sharing, reading through this reminded me of Octavia Butler’s quote ” First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice”. Systems and habits are the most reliable tools to get results.
Chido Maria says
Love this, – currently reading “The 12 Week year” and it also emphasizes the importance of having a system, which if executed well, will in turn lead to the accomplishment of your goals – I’m glad you mentioned that on some days it’s possible you might fail but what’s important is you stick to your habits/system more often than not- that will increase the likelihood of you achieving your goal. Good luck with the marathons. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much for sharing this Tanaka. This article is on point! Planning is a very important part of achieving your goals. The most effective way you can achieve your goals is through a system, and not just any system, but a system that works for you.I also find that having a plan (or creating systems) helps you stay motivated and on track so that you can achieve the goals that are important to you.