Normally, I start the year off with a post, reflecting on the previous year. But honestly, life has gotten away from me, and I’m just now settling into January. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I appreciate the speed at which the first month of the new year is going.
2018 was hectic AF. Filled with harsh life lessons that broke me open, and made me wiser and more appreciative. Ya girl has been EVOLVING, and it has not been easy. It has been uncomfortable at times. But we here though!
Now usually, social media is inundated with quotes on canceling_______from the previous year, or lists of all the resolutions to be made in the coming year. Lose 50 pounds. Become a vegetarian. Give up social media for 7 days, a month, whatever. Read 80 books. I didn’t pay attention to any of that this year.
I make it a practice to do a vision board every year. However, this year, I chose to be more thoughtful in my approach. In the past I was so goal-obsessed. I just knew if I put it on the board, it was gonna happen. There was no way it wouldn’t happen. This past year, I learned a lot about myself, and how limiting it can be to fixate on one specific goal. I read an amazing article on Lifehacker on the difference between being systems oriented vs. being goal-oriented. Needless to say, it definitely left an imprint on me.
James Clear defines the difference between the two in the following way:
The Difference Between Goals and Systems
What’s the difference between goals and systems?
- If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.
- If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
- If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.
- If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.
It goes on to discuss the question of whether results can still occur if you focus on systems instead of goals. The truth is, having a goal-oriented mindset for me, was detrimental. I found myself getting frustrated easily when my goals were not met. I had used the same formula for life for so long, that I didn’t realize I couldn’t apply it anymore. What do I mean by this?
You go to college. You decide to get more schooling, boom, masters. You get your first job…..then what? What is next? Now it could be things like: get married, have kids, get a house, etc. But also, not all of us are trying to do those things right this second. It can feel like we aren’t making progress, because these aren’t targets we are necessarily trying to hit right now.
As we grow up, our wants become different. Things don’t always happen according to our timeline, or even the exact way we want them to. Sometimes, this can be a hard pill to swallow.
I actually had this conversation with Mom Dukes a few months back. I said to her, “ For my whole life, I have always been told, that if I work hard, everything I want, I can have. The problem is, you can work super hard at one thing, and it doesn’t happen. Then what do you do, how do you process that setback?” One thing we are not necessarily taught is how to accept setbacks and regroup. I don’t think there’s enough discussion about this as we grow up.
That’s the biggest lesson I learned in 2018. That it’s okay to be flexible, and explore an uncharted route. That life is not linear, and sometimes it’s better to go with the current than fight against it. To bring it back to this article, focusing on the systems can produce results, by cultivating habits, consistently working towards a goal. My focus for 2019 is to be disciplined in every area: finances, health (physical/mental/spiritual), and professional life. This means getting enough sleep, eating well, spending/saving mindfully, spending time with myself and loved ones. Knowing when to rest. As far as goals, I’m working always towards traveling more, making a comfortable emergency fund, consistently learning, completing passion projects and being open to changes in my professional life. You know what? This approach feels really good to me. I have nothing but high hopes for this coming year.
“Goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.”
That’s all for now.Stay tuned for my book, coming to ya’ll really soon! Let’s get it.