I know what you’re thinking. Let me explain.
Routines actually don’t work for most people. Sure, they can help in a general sense. But achieving your deepest desires requires more than general success. If you have young kids, pets, travel a lot, work remotely, if you have a disability…it’s extremely difficult to follow the same routine every day. If you keep trying, you’re just going to get frustrated and quit.
So one day, I stopped trying to follow routines…and I was surprised to see myself start achieving my goals 10x faster than before.
Goals Are For Losers. Systems Are For Winners.
This is an excerpt from an article by best-selling author Scott Adams.
“Goals work great for simple situations. But the world is rarely simple these days.
You don’t know what your career will look like in a year. You don’t know what the economy will be doing, or which new technologies will hit the scene.
Your personal life is just as unpredictable. The future is a big ball of complexity if you look out far enough. And that means your odds of picking the one best goal for you are slim, and the odds of achieving it are even slimmer, because everything is a moving target.
So instead of goals, try systems that improve your odds of success (however you define success) over time.
Choose projects that improve your personal value no matter how the project itself does. Find systems for diet and fitness that replace willpower with simple knowledge.”
Don’t focus on setting goals; instead, create better systems that allow you to make small progress every day, no matter what your schedule might be.
Most of the time, goals don’t work. Goals are fine, but they have some problems: as James Clear wrote in Atomic Habits, there are 3 main problems with goals. First, losers had the same goal as winners — it’s not the goal that makes you succeed. Next, goals are inherently temporary. Finally, it usually sucks working towards a goal.
It’s time to stop following a routine. Stop trying altogether.
Just create better systems: they’re like goals on steroids. Create rules for each day where you can do a little more work. It doesn’t matter if it’s slow; slow’s the point. You’re building momentum, one step at a time, without any guilt or frustration.
Ordinary People Focus on the Outcome. Extraordinary People Focus On the Process.
When you focus on the outcome, you stunt your growth. You lose focus on the here-and-now. True champions focus on the process. They know champions aren’t made in the ring — they’re made in the practice arena, every day for months before.
In Anders Ericcson’s book Peak: Secrets of the New Science of Expertise, Ericcson says,
“At its core, practice is a lonely pursuit.”
Commitment to the craft can be lonely, boring, and tedious. It often is.
But this is the difference between good and bad writers, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, singers, performers, actors — the good ones practice consistently. They focus on the process of getting better, every single day.
The bad ones don’t.
It’s not about routines or goals — it’s about consistency, no matter what life throws are you.
Ordinary people focus on the outcome. Extraordinary people focus on what they can control — the process.