As the year ends, most people are already thinking about what they’d like to do in the next year. Ranging from replacing unhealthy habits with healthier ones to developing new relationships, the beginning of a new year is often overwhelmed with activities aimed at achieving all these numerous goals.

Sooner or later, our goals begin to fade from sight as the normal stream of activities surface again. How do we then maintain consistency and ensure we are really improving our lives and not just tricking our mind with that long list of what our ideal life should look like?

Goals written on a white sheet of paper from typewriter

First of all, you must recognize the gap between your current position and the desired level. Next, understand why you’re where you are right now and determine a strong-enough reason for wanting to change the situation in that area of your life.

Now, you should choose habits that suit you and your needs; not habits dictated by what’s popular or what your friends are doing. After identifying the goal, you should create a system of actions towards getting there. Then commit to daily incremental changes in this direction.

Girl writing goals and creating systems for a new year

How is setting a goal different from building a system?

A goal is the result you want to achieve while a system is the process that leads to those results. A goal is focused on the destination while a system helps you embrace the journey and everything that happens in between. With systems, you become committed to the process and can make continuous improvements along the way.

For example, you could ordinarily state ‘’I will eat healthy this new year”, but still end up giving in to junk food repeatedly. This is simply because you have not created a system that supports your desire or that at least removes the hindrances to that fulfilled goal.

Healthy food as a goal set for the new year

“You don’t rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your habits”. If your habits have not been conditioned to the desired direction of your goals, it will be difficult to become consistent. So think long-term and focus on the practice rather than the final performance.

That is, for eating healthy, you can begin to buy fruits every single time you go the store, meal-prep and cook on the weekends to make sure you always have good food, set up accountability with a friend, find out simple recipes and commit to trying them out every weekend.

Fruits bought at the store as a system to eat healthy

You can also constantly assess and adjust your systems at any point. This could be a time set aside weekly or monthly to analyze the journey and modify your habits. Check out this post on “Essentialism” to see how to eliminate the less important and focus on the vital aspects of your life.

It is, of course, important to still keep in mind or at least have an idea of where you’re headed. This principle of creating systems is towards enabling you enjoy every moment; appreciating every step of the way. This is so you don’t put off gratification only till the end goal is reached.

Girl reaching satisfaction in assessing her systems

For me, this New Year, I hope to prioritize the relationships in my life, develop positive self-care habits and cultivate a healthy lifestyle by eating clean, sleeping well and staying physically fit. Of course, none of these vague goals will be fully achieved without a structured workable system.

You can be satisfied at any point while your system is running and you can celebrate the continuation of your process. No matter your goals, you should check out “Atomic Habits” where James Clear provides a proven framework for building good habits and breaking bad ones.

Definitely comment below what your goals are for the New Year and what systems you will set up towards achieving them.

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4 Responses

  1. Miracle says:

    Omo, really beautiful piece of work. As for me my goal is to have money.

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