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…
- Rigorous methods
- Finish line mindset
- 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,