How Systems Help You Reach Your Goals

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits says, “You don’t rise to the level of your goals, but fall to the level of your systems”. This piece of goal setting is what I believe separates those who reach their goals from those who don’t. 

Think about it this way. If you set goals but don’t create system to reach that goal, what good does that do you?

A system is defined by “a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized framework or method.”

Let’s look an example – Let’s say that you identified a goal of reading more frequently. Right now maybe you read 6-8 books a year. You decide that you’d like to intentionally read 20 books in the upcoming year.

You have the goal and you’d made it specific. Now you need to create a system. You decide to break down the goal into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily routines to reach your goal.

  • Quarterly – Read 5 books
  • Monthly – Read about 1.5 books
  • Weekly – Read about 70 pages or about 7 chapters
  • Daily – Read about 1 chapter, or 10 pages a day

Let’s do another example. Maybe you want to focus more on your health and the habits associated with your health in the upcoming year. You decide you want to be someone who makes healthy decisions.

  • Quarterly – Determine which specific habits you want to focus on, Pick your workout plan, plan a weekend of rest, Choose a meal plan
  • Monthly – Plan a hike or two you’d like to complete during the month or a certain number of days you plan to exercise per week, pick 3-5 easy healthy meals you can make during the month that will provide leftovers and add them into your rotation
  • Weekly – Plan your upcoming week the Friday prior, plan your weekly dinners as well as lunches, pick a day for rest, write out your workouts in your calendar
  • Daily – Follow your meal plan, drink 60 oz of water, get outside 10 minutes per day, journal, complete your exercise

These are just a few examples but you can determine what will work for you. Pick an area you’d like to focus on, and then determine how to break it down each quarter to make it more achievable. Form there, look what routines can help you support that goal on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.


Leave a Reply