Achieving your health & fitness goals have very little to do with goals and nearly everything to do with systems.
Meet David – one of my ‘regulars’ for the past 7 years. He recently approached me and said: ‘Steve, I’d like to set myself a goal. I’d like to complete 4 minutes in the plank position.’
Now, for those folks who are aware of the plank exercise, completing 4 minutes IN STRICT FORM is something to be proud of. It’s so easy to ‘cheat’ at this exercise. Watch David (below) do it the proper way.
So, the goal with David is to complete 4 mins. But it would be ridiculous to spend the whole time staring at the clock.The only way to improve is to get better each day. The improved time in the plank position will take care of itself.The same is true for other areas of life. If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.
What do I mean by this? Are goals completely useless? Of course not. Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems.
Achieving a goal is only a momentary change
Achieving a goal only changes our 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. When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, we need to solve problems at the systems level. Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves.
In David’s case we devised a system that would work for him. The system was built around the ‘bigger picture’ of his Sleep, nutrition, mindset, exercise and lifestyle.
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