GOING MENTAL

setting systems

Hey team,

Last year, I read a book called The 5 Choices, The Path to Extraordinary Productivity. Despite the fact that while I was reading the book I worried it was detracting from my productivity, my productivity in the year since reading it has clearly increased and I’m excited to share with you the section of it that helped me the most.

In the decision management chapter, there is a sub-section “what are the most important roles in your life today?” This section gives several prompts that urge the reader to evaluate their lives with a holistic approach, homing in on the key areas where they feel they can serve best. The way the section gets readers to zero in on these areas is by asking readers to identify the key “roles” they fill in their lives, the roles that are most important to them. Once the key roles are identified, personal mission statements are set in place to act as quasi-mottos for each separate role, and then you are asked to lay out specific, appropriate goals for each category.

The thing I liked most about this brief sub-section was that it made priorities crystal clear before introducing goals. I’m a big believer that goals without distinct values backing them up are just another form of being caught in the hamster wheel. With distinct values in place, however, goals take on a new meaning and somehow switch from seeming daunting to seeming exciting.

I didn’t know it at the time but this method of working toward the things you want in life is actually called SYSTEM SETTING. Don’t think it’s just a fancy new way of saying “goals” (that’s what I thought initially!!) Trust me, they’re different in important ways…

Goals

  • Results-based
  • Micro-focused
  • Rigorous methods
  • Finish line mindset

Systems

  • Process-based
  • Macro-focused
  • Sustainable methods
  • Growth mindset

To me, goals and systems are the difference between anxiety, rat race, and feeling like you can’t keep up and clear-headedness, running your own race, and feeling confident in knowing that the steps you are taking are directed toward the things that matter to you.

Do you guys use goals or systems? When did you first hear about systems? What do you like / not like about them?

Looking forward to your thoughts,

JM

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giusdb
Member

I suggest some books

Just for Fun – Linus Torvalds

Probably hard to find and only in Italian
Il mare verticale – Giorgio Saviane

I suggest avoiding theories and books complex.
I encourage few words and much action.

Dorn
Member
Ah, finally a chance to write! My house is a mess, and a lot of it is my fault. Well, I look at a room and I’m frozen by the inability to sort, clean and get any semblance of order. But somewhere I heard about “bubble-sorting” or “batch-sorting”, not sure which, and here’s how I interpreted it as a system; Anytime I go into a room for any purpose, I look around at the different things in the room and try to take a mental note of objects that don’t belong, then as I leave the room I grab the… Read more »
Hmbrto
Member

First you have to start with the objectives and then move on to the systems
Planning short-term goals according to the mentality you have

I think that if no results in your initial goals should be due to the mentality or lack of enthusiasm you possess,
The goal of everything is to move to systems and expand your projects
To pursue long-term goals,
I identify myself more with the second, thanks for your post

MetalHead-Drummer
Member
I mostly use goals, but I set up systems to eventually achieve them. Thats why I keep a steady mindset because in order to achieve, there must be productivity. I normally just take it little by little and apply more dedication in order to finally complete it. I like the term productivity because I try to be productive as I possibly can knowing that I would be even better at being productive when Im older, so why not start now. I also try my best to be confident in what I want to achieve because I feel that I will… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

i LOVE this. using systems and implementing goals that are appropriate for THOSE SPECIFIC SYSTEMS. this comment excites me.

Someguy
Member

This is the first time I heard about systems. I added the book to my read list. Thanks for advices, will try.

I hope you reach the things that matter to you, see ya in next blog post 🙂

Jennette McCurdy
Verified

yay! overall, the book gets a little dry and i think some of the chapters are “gear-up” chapters that don’t really serve the reader, but i hope you get a lot out of it.

Jason
Member

Hey Jennette,

To answer you questions:

Do you guys use goals or systems? No I do use systems. I do use goals although I haven’t reached most of them yet, but I keep trying.

When did you first hear about systems? Oddly enough when i read this blog post. I never knew they existed.

Jennette McCurdy
Verified

what are your systems? (if you feel comfortable sharing). so then you drop goals into them? i’m liking this – somebody else commented something similar.

i’m actually thinking of writing a follow-up post to this about how to implement goals (to promote progress) into systems (that ensure fulfillment). I think goals are okay and I think I seemed against them in this post. I just think that if goals are constantly set with no purpose/system, it can get hamster wheel-y.

Jason
Member

I meant to say I don’t use systems (i need to double check before i reply in the future) I didn’t know they were a thing until this post.

Mario
Member
Hey Jennette! Thank you for sharing your methods, maybe in one year you will ask us what we gained thanks to your methods and we will be in a spaceship 🙂 Ok, this is what I understood from yor method: before you were anxious because you always thought to achieve an objective and it had to be perfect, instead now you aren’t anxious because you don’t think to your objectives in the future but in the present, so you can focus on what you are doing and this make you gain your objectives. Is it right? Did I miss something?… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

your spaceship comment made me smile. so sweet!

i think your second paragraph nailed it.

the will rogers quote terrifies me hahaha

Miki
Member
My goal is to fulfill in what I do, whether it is a career in which I will study (I will be a translator in English), that I try to achieve in accomplishing it, and if something I have heard in a certain time in the psychology class, A reset to myself, and start over again (tell me if I’m wrong), at this point I try to live my life and do what I suppose I should do, (study, get a job,) that goal I want to reach, And that worries me because in the long run I can not… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

i’m so happy you’re enjoying gm! thanks for being here 🙂

Miki
Member

☺️❤️

Kyle
Member
I’ve not really heard of this way of thinking per say, but I somewhat think this way I don’t set deadlines for goals and I don’t set aside time to do something regularly to get to my goals. I tend to look back or notice in the moment, that doing something is related to achieving a goal or goals of mine. For instance a goal of mine is getting a job at a top company for the field I work in. So I do look at the system for what it takes to do that. I break it into a… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

good for you!

Brad
Member

Systems is a long-term methodology based on one’s core values and beliefs, and is best for ultimately achieving personal fulfillment. Goals are often forced on people by external entities, such as employers etc. and I think are best relegated to rapid-cycle, less personal things in one’s life. Want to read a good book? Try “An astronauts guide to life on earth” by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. I suspect you’d find it worth the time.

Jennette McCurdy
Verified

saw your comment on FB but love that you took the time to put it here. yes yes yes. you’re great. thanks for existing.

Patricia
Member
I think we all have some talent and know how to profit productively taking into account several factors such as motivation, energy, productive thinking … always gives a good result in our effort. I have seen the second link video, and I agree with the teacher. But the third video I liked better, (I’m a writer lol). And it’s true, it’s much better to work an hour or two a day without the pressure of “I’m going to write five thousand words.” It is better to do things correctly, because if you mark yourself a goal you can stress it… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

love your motto for this post! so concise and spot on.

Jimmy
Member
Back at the end of 2015, Wil Wheaton published a Blog entry called ~Seven Things I Did To Reboot My Life and he had updated it every month. (link at the end) When I first read his blog I skiped that particular entry, until he promoted it a few days afterwards on twitter and I gave it read. I’ve been unhappy with certain facts and circumstances in my life for a long time – but when I read this post in his blog I found him to be right (on most parts at least). Ever since I simply copied him… Read more »
VT
Member

Thanks, Jimmy. I also read it. That was very helpful.

Alex
Member
Other than meeting you I really don’t have any goals. I have priorities, things I have to do that I don’t consider goals like phone calls, paying loans, getting hired at Walmart. It’s like you don’t consider keep doing videos and blog posts as a goal it’s just something you have to do cuz you’re under contract. I don’t usually think in terms of is this a goal or a system or whatever. I just live life and try to do what I’m supposed to do. My role is to help my family afford to live. Me, my mom and… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

read “attitude is everything”. i think you’ll like it.

Alex
Member

Wow thanks Jenn I’ll look into reading it. I appreciate that you thought of a book you’d think I’d like. I think I prob would like it to. It really makes me remember why I love you when I see your caring side.

VT
Member

So, your goal is a better place to live. What system have you built to reach that goal?

The anxiety is due to a focus on the goal and not the system.

Jennette McCurdy
Verified
VT
Member
It is important to use both. When you want to make supper, you decide on your GOAL, which is WHAT you want to make, the end result. How you get to that finished meal, is the system. The actual goal is no longer important to what you need to do. Once the goal is established you have completed that task. The next task is to build the system or steps to reach the goal. If you keep focused on the goal, you will keep changing the goal or comparing each step in your system to that goal and either go… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

“goals are the destination.

systems are the journey.”

^literally the point of the blog post but said so much simpler and better.

Julian
Member
Ahh, delving into the philosophy of people once again! It is so easy, in today’s time that is so focused on being “successful”, to become lost in results-driven goals. After all, how can you hope to “be” anything if you don’t have the success to back it up (sarcasm intended). Results-driven goals are not all bad though, and I find them and micro-goals great to use as steps toward a bigger goal over a length of time. However, it is easy to get lost here too, as the perfectionist in me often wants every mark I set done as perfectly… Read more »
VT
Member

I think that the goal is the ideal and the system is the practical with each accomplished step in that system being a microgoal.

Someone posted that their goal was to meet Jennette in person but that it was unlikely to ever happen. This is a good example of the goal getting in the way of the system. With a focus on the impossibility of the goal, the system never has a chance.

Julian
Member
VT that’s an excellent, concise summary. I would ask this: is it the goal itself that is impeding, or is it the focus? In the example, it sounds like the goal-setter’s doubt in regard to accomplishing the goal is getting in the way of the microgoals. Sure meeting Jennette in person is not a walk in the park. Depending upon the definition of “meeting”, one could say they “met” Jennette during one of her Facebook live sessions. Physically meeting? If that’s the goal, then the system would need to set yourself up to be in a similar setting as Jennette,… Read more »
VT
Member
I would answer that it is the focus on the goal, rather than the goal itself. The goal is the object. It simply exists. The focus is emotional and changes the perception of the goal. Using Jennette as an example of a goal, the objective to meet her is the goal. It is simple. But, focusing on the goal brings an emotional response that perceives the goal to be unattainable. And then one fails to create the system. If one accepts the goal for what it is and starts working on a system of micro goals or stages that will… Read more »
Julian
Member

VT thanks for the answer! Makes it crystal clear and is more than reasonable too. I’ll be sure to use this wisdom going forward, good luck to you!

Jennette McCurdy
Verified

love that the two of you are discussing this.

Konstantin
Member

Hi, Jennette Hi to all/
This is an interesting topic and this requires a more detailed study. Sometimes I think about it. I think I’m just that. I set a goal and go to her. But the goals are often mundane and these goals are not long-term ones. I try to set goals that I can accomplish. I’m not inclined to set serious goals. Because I do not consider myself capable of serious enough accomplishments. This is my problem and this is my concern.
I love your links. Thank you very much. I hope it helps me.

Jennette McCurdy
Verified

glad you got something out of the post!

Kyle
Member

When you say “I’m not inclined to set serious goals. Because I do not consider myself capable of serious enough accomplishments” that’s because you have not considered what you can do now to start getting you there. I’d suggest not setting a deadline for achieving that goal, but set aside time to do something that would help you get there. Surprisingly just knowing what it would take to achive that goal, you’ll start working in the pieces when you find opportunities.

Konstantin
Member
It’s easy to say than to do. And I do not quite know what I want from life. And I do not set myself a goal for the future. I live one day. I reach the goal of today. I appreciate it. But I believe in the future. When I say that I do not set a goal for the future. I mean that I do not want much money, I do not want to become successful, famous … I want to say that I do not need this. But I do not know how to become happy. I would… Read more »
Epiceh
Member

Can you give an example between a goal mindset and a system mindset? I slightly understand the difference but an example would help to ground these ideas from the abstract.

Dorn
Member
A system oriented approach, would be to concentrate on the actual steps of the task itself. eg.: “Hammering each nail, cutting and fitting each 2 by 4 to fit, versus building a house.” If you look at building the house as the goal, it’s an overwhelming project full of different phases, and can look very daunting. But if you just focus on each mindful moment, each board in place, each nail hammered home with due diligence, then you aren’t thinking or worrying about anything else, and next thing you know the house is done! Not to get too long winded… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

Dorn. NAILED IT.

Dark
Member

A bit of both. When I read this post. I like them in conjunction and dislike them in isolation. I find that I can get stuck and feel like I’m banging my head against the wall when I focus on “goals”. I find that I never get anything accomplished when I focus on “systems” (we live in a results oriented world). Using a bit of both helps me grow and enjoy the experience while keeping me on the task of achieving results.

VT
Member

I work in a results oriented business. My goal for the day is set and I must show results. But the results is the goal. The system that I use every morning to reach the goal is my only focus. As long as each step in the system is done, the goal will be reached.

Like the old saying: Mind the nickles and dimes and the dollars will take care of themselves.

Taco
Member
Hi dear Jennette ty for the blog i love all ur blogs and most of them i know what comment i should write on but this one is a bit difficult to write a comment on im sorry but really dont know what to write now on this blog its interesting though but difficult to understand but i love to read ur blogs they let me know more About you and thats Nice because the more i know the more i can amention what u feel and what u Think and thats Nice then i can keep iT in mind… Read more »
Rose
Member
Hi, Jennette! ty for the blog love it!, by the way, I’m loving the going mental blogs you’re a great writer I thought of 2 things that I would love you to do: 1- write and publish a book pretty obvious since you love writing and again you’re a really great writer! 2- go on a world tour maybe for the book or for exploring and I honestly want to meet you so bad if you come to the UAE or DUBAI since I live there *winks* I just want you to come so I can meet you sounds creepy… Read more »
Jennette McCurdy
Verified

ROSE!!! Thank you for this. I’m so glad you’re enjoying GM. I’d love to write a book one day ;). stay tuned!

Alex
Member

Yea I’d read it only cuz you wrote it. I like that your writing is uniquely you.

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