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Say Goodbye to Goals in 2017!

January 2, 2017


Happy New Year!  

At the close of this year, I asked all my clients to reflect on and answer the following questions for themselves:  


1. What are you most proud of achieving, doing, being, creating, or accomplishing in 2016?

2. What was your biggest screw up, failure, or area of stagnation? 

3. If you could do, become, or create one thing in 2017 that would bring you crazy joy, what would that be?


I like these questions.  They are a great way of reflecting upon where you have been and looking forward to where you are going.  After answering these questions, though, you may be excited to jump into setting goals and making resolutions for 2017. Just........Don't.  


This year, I am trying something different and I think you should, too. Instead of focusing on specific "goals," I'm going to focus on "systems." This brilliant nugget comes from Dilbert creator and cartoonist, Scott Adams, and I really love the expansive thinking behind it.


Instead of "setting goals" and putting yourself into a "pass/fail" type of situation, ask yourself "what persistent skills or relationships do I want to develop this year?"  Then attempt to design a system around it.  For example, I want to further develop my public speaking skills. Public speaking requires practice. If I develop a system that allows me to practice on a regular basis, then I will become a more confident and skilled public speaker.  Who knows where this will lead....that's what makes it a system and not a goal.  


I also want to become a better writer so I am going to design a system of writing a regular blog. If it sucks, that's cool. I've still gotten the practice of writing something on a regular basis that develops over time. Both of these systems will give me transferrable skills or even relationships that increase my odds of developing other projects and building assets that carry into other areas of life. I think this language of "systems" allows for more creativity, but still has a structure of sorts that holds it together.  


What do you think? If this resonates with you, what systems will you design in 2017? 





*Credit for learning about Scott Adams, his blog, and his ideas about "systems" vs. "goals" go to Tim Ferris and his new book, Tools of Titans. I highly recommend this book to my clients, especially the ones who are continuously seeking the path to optimal health, wealth, and wisdom, and in doing so take curiosity to a whole new level.  #lovemyclients  




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© 2016 by Elaine Garmon