I read an article recently that seems to reflect the growing trend towards “systems” thinking; in it, it states that “Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.” (James Clear, entrepreneur.com)
Now this articulated many nascent thoughts lingering in the edges of my mind already; personal disappointments of the previous year, hoped-for results in the forthcoming, and what can make those goals a reality. And I realize I can never say definitively that I will be Healthier, Happier, Efficient, Productive, Successful, Stronger, or Fruitful in the New Year. But what I can say for sure is that I will commit to and work out those steps, processes, and systems that foster those outcomes and results I am seeking for in the long run.
I cannot say I will “eat right” if I haven’t first cleaned out my fridge today, budgeted cash for necessary groceries only, and decided to re-route my commute to avoid the mystical Golden Arches.
I cannot say I will “get healthier” if I haven’t first joined a gym, got a work-out partner (who has made better progress than me), and scheduled with that person into my planner. One thing I’ve learned from playing 25 years of indoor and beach volleyball is: hang out with better players, you ultimately get better yourself. Forget getting “healthier” or “stronger.” First find some better players than yourself and figure out a way to get in with them.
I cannot say that I will read more, if I haven’t first pulled the plug on the television set and cancelled the cable.
I cannot hope to “elevate my platform” if I haven’t planned in a disciplined writing schedule for my blog (inspired by Peter Chin on this one), actually put it into my calendar, and began regularly writing.
I cannot hope to “grow a core” (no, not in my tummy, but in church planting terms) if I am not willing to actually work on growing warmer, a very valid criticism I’ve received recently. All is not objectives and goals. People are involved, and I need to exert a conscientious effort to listen, empathize, host, care, be present. There are steps to take before planting, and great core teams don’t just miraculously appear; they are fostered; cultivated.
None of these things magically “just happen.” So I’m mentally dumping goals and resolutions, and trading them for proactive steps, processes, and systems one day at a time. Achievement of any of the goals will be an after thought.