If you’re a coach, your long-term goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day. If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week. If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.
I never set a long-term goal for my writing. I focus on my system -- writing one article every Monday and Thursday.
From: Scott Adams (edited)
Going to the gym 3-4 times a week is a goal. And it can be a hard one to accomplish for people who don't enjoy exercise. And when you associate discomfort with exercise you are training yourself to stop doing it because It feels like punishment.
Compare the goal of exercising 3-4 times a week with a system of being active every day at a level that feels good. Before long your body will be trained to crave the psychological lift you get from being active every day. It will soon become easier to exercise than to skip it. That's a system.
Losers have goals and winners have systems.
The other day I put on my workout clothes and drove to the gym. But when I arrived I didn't feel like working out. I ate lunch in the snack bar then drove home. Did I fail at my exercise goal?
It's a trick question. I didn't have an exercise goal. What I do have is an exercise system. My system is that I attempt to exercise five times a week around lunchtime. And I always allow myself the option of driving to the gym then turning around and going home.
I've discovered that the routine of preparing to exercise usually inspires me to go through with it even if I didn't start out in the mood. This particular day, my body wasn't going to cooperate. No problem. I didn't have a trace of guilt about driving home. If I had a goal instead of a system, I would have failed that day and I would have felt like a loser. That can't be good for motivation.
That failure might be enough to prevent me from going to the gym the next time I don't feel 100%, just to avoid the risk of another failure.
COMMENT: What these guys call systems are just short-term or loose goals. But even with misleading wordplay, what they are saying makes sense. Small goals put less pressure on your mind and that makes them easier to achieve.
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