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  • Jerry Phillips

Goals or Systems

As you may know I’m a big fan of James Clear and his book Atomic Habits. I subscribe to his newsletter, and I read it religiously, every Thursday. Last week he wrote about how we set goals, and how we miss goals. His question was which is more important, goals or systems.

I sit down every year and faithfully write up my goals for the year. Then I check them occasionally to determine if I’m meeting my goals. I look at financial, physical, family, spiritual, business, and other personal goals. I reach about 70% of my goals. That is a strong performance, but somehow still wanting.

At the end of the first quarter of 2022, I finished reading Atomic Habits, and changed from goals to systems. It started with determining how I look at myself. Instead of saying I wanted to work out more to lose weight, I simply said, “I’m an athlete.” Instead of saying I needed to save more money each month, I said, “I’m a saver.” After that I instituted a process for how I do it. Progress has been made and my goals are within reach.

I believe I have had this discipline for most of my career, but never verbalized it. In your business do you breakdown how you are going to reach your goals? I worked with a great friend and client of mine in New Jersey to create a process for breaking down annual goals into actionable steps to reach them. We did it by the channels each salesperson works in. They look at their current situation in their channel, their market, and with their product. They look at factors outside of their control and determine how they will address the issues if they occur. They look at what differentiates them from all competition and look at options they can take. We built a system/process to reach goals. They have had three years of success using the system

Are you setting goals and hoping for the best, or are you creating systems and processes that you can measure to reach your goals? Goals or systems? The answer is both!

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