We’re officially at the beginning of 2021, which is certainly something to celebrate. Last year was, by far, the craziest year of my existence; I know we’re all ready to turn the page. Each January, it’s natural to focus on our resolutions for the coming year. Rather than making goals, here are four reasons to create systems for your new year’s resolutions instead.
1. Systems reduce your reliance on motivation
No matter what you want to change in the new year, taking action is key. In creating a process, you reduce your reliance on motivation in order to create the change you want. It is widely thought that motivation is a resource of small extent. We can’t rely on it alone to make difficult changes.
For instance, if you want to get healthier and lose weight in the new year, creating a system where exercise is enjoyable and part of your weekly routine will, over time, yield better results. Trying to “crush it” in the gym every day will burn through your motivation quickly, not to mention make you prone to injury and sore muscles.
The same goes for your finances. Creating a system to “pay yourself first” can help you during a moment you’re tempted to buy an unneeded high-cost item.
2. Systems reduce the mental effort
Even if you’re fully motivated, stopping to think about the next step can slow your progress toward a goal. A system, on the other hand, already has knowledge baked into it. Once your routine is set, the need to think about the next step happens less often.
Here, a nice feature of having systems for your new year’s resolutions is that they can be adjusted over time. If you need to course-correct, then a simple adjustment may be all that’s necessary. However, you’ve still been making progress in the meantime.
3. Systems allow for consistency
In the past, I’ve certainly been guilty of having fits-and-starts when it comes to achieving goals. The fable of the tortoise and the hare comes to mind here. Slow and steady wins the race.
One of the reasons that I’ve been able to reach my goals is by setting up a system. Over time, I’ve been able to learn new things and layer them into my process. A process leads to consistency, which can lead to a better outcome in reaching your goals, in the long run. I know I have lots of room for improvement and continuously seek new ways and systems to make my goals work.
4. Unmet goals can wreck your happiness
Finally, systems beat goals from a psychological standpoint. When you set an ambitious goal, it can be very easy to judge yourself negatively if you’re not making progress toward it. Unmet goals can create a negative feedback loop.
When you create a consistent process or system, it produces a consistent result. By examining the result, you are free to become curious about how adjusting the system will affect that result. By being non-judgmental, you let go of the negative mental energy of a “success-or-failure” mentality and allow yourself to change as needed.
Another way that goals wreck your happiness actually lies in achieving your goal. When you achieve a goal, it can be a tremendous thrill. Unfortunately, the thrill ends soon after the moment you achieve it. This is why many people stop dieting as soon as they reach their weight loss goal!
Try systems for your new year’s resolutions this year
So, as you’re thinking about your new year’s resolutions, I’d encourage you to consider creating a system instead of a goal. Systems will allow you to take consistent action with less reliance on motivation while giving you a better chance to be happy with your progress.
If you need help creating a system to improve your finances in the coming year, then give me a complimentary free call to see if I am a good fit to help you achieve your goals.