Goals versus systems

I recently read a book by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert and successful author. His premise about goals is that you are always chasing goals and never get the satisfaction of achievement because you are always chasing the next goal.

He prefers to put systems in place that when followed, give you the best chance of success and achievement. No chasing your tail, just following the best processes you can design and using your system.

I can see where he is coming from. So many times, accomplishing goals can feel unrewarding. Doing everything “right” and not reaching a goal can happen too.

I’ve tried to incorporate this idea in to my routine. I still believe that goal setting is a great way to organize my thinking, but I also try to get my systems and planning at such a high level that I don’t obsess over results. I’m still refining all this but so far this year it seems to be working.

My productivity is up about 10%. I feel more comfortable when I relax. Having a great structure seems to be working.

Would love to hear what you think. I haven’t written for awhile, so forgive me a few spelling errors and typos!  Thanks

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3 Responses to “Goals versus systems”

  1. ShethP Says:

    Could you elaborate what you mean by systems and structures?
    Also, I believe that small successes should be celebrated before moving on to one’s next goal. Maybe, that keeps one motivated?

    • Mike Says:

      Great Question! What I mean by systems and structures is to focus more on the destination, doing each step or task as well as possible, and the end result will usually work out right.
      I still am a believer in goals and setting them. I think rewarding and celebrating are key. Without goals and lists I would be lost completely. I just found the ideas in the book interesting and a different perspective

      • ShethP Says:

        Ah, I see. 🙂 Couldn’t agree more with “doing each step or task as well as possible.” Thanks for clarifying!
        And, absolutely. Could you share the name of the book? I wish to diversify my reading habits, and this one seems like one which I would like to read sometime.

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