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Don't Just Set Goals. Build Systems

"Don't Just Set Goals. Build Systems: The Secret to Happiness and Achieving More"

Ilustrasi Puzzle (Foto: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

Are you tired of setting goals and not achieving them? Do you struggle to stay motivated and focused on your long-term goals? If so, it may be time to move from setting goals to building a system.

While goal setting can be a useful way to define what you want to achieve, it's only one piece of the puzzle. On the other hand, building systems can help you make steady progress toward your goals, promote lasting change, and increase your overall happiness and well-being. So what exactly is a system? Simply put, it is a set of habits, routines, and practices that you can use to achieve a particular result. For example, if your goal is to get in shape, a system might include a regular exercise routine, a healthy diet, and tracking your progress.

The benefits of building the system are many. By following a set of established practices, you can:

On the right track:

Systems provide structure and accountability, which can help you stay focused and avoid distractions. Winning time:

With a system in place, you don't need to constantly re-evaluate your goals or come up with new strategies. You can simply follow the steps in your system and move towards your goal.

Finding fulfillment:

Building systems can help you cultivate lasting habits and move toward your long-term goals. It can increase your sense of accomplishment and overall happiness.

So how can you start building systems to achieve your goals? Here are a few tips:

Define your goal:

First, spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve. Be specific and make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

Break your goal down into smaller steps:

Next, identify the specific actions you need to take to achieve your goal. These steps should be specific, measurable, and achievable.

Create a schedule:

Once you've identified your goals and milestones, create a plan outlining how you'll approach each milestone. This may include your schedule, the resources you need, and any potential challenges you may face.

Deploy your system:

Now is the time to execute your plan. Follow your system consistently and don't be afraid to make the necessary adjustments.

By following these steps, you can begin to build systems that help you make steady progress toward your goals and drive lasting change. So don't just set goals - build systems and discover the secret to happiness and more.

Determine intent to perform

Now that you've identified the actions needed to get what you want, you need to set goals for them.

This is called execution intent.

These are commitments to perform an action at a specific time and place - you specify what you will do when and where.

The structure of an implementation intent is as follows:

"I will [ACT] to [TIME] to [LOCATION]."

Let's see some examples:

→ I will do aerobics and weightlifting exercises for 1 hour every day of the week before work, from 7 am to 8 am at the gym.

→ I will record what I buy and its price every time I buy something with Apple Pay. → I will create content for my Medium blog for 2 hours a day, from 4 to 6 pm, at my home office.

Performance intent is a safety net for those days when your motivation dries up…

And there will be some of those days.


The implementation intent you set out initially will build on the proven systems you've adopted from people who've already achieved what you want.

But they don't necessarily work for you.

It is essential that you understand why systems are so effective so that you can adjust and improve them accordingly. This involves tracking your progress to measure what works and what doesn't work for you.

For example, I like going to the gym in the morning - when I feel more energetic - but you might prefer to go after work.

In this situation, I recommend writing down how you feel after hitting the gym in the morning for a week or two. Then go to the gym after work and do the same.

If you find that you are more motivated after work, update the system.

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