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Make it easy

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

Make it easy

Scott Miker

Why do you stick with it? This is a question I get from time to time regarding some system that I developed.

It could be that someone asks why I stick with eating a certain healthy lunch every day or why I exercise every morning. It seems that they always have other ways to accomplish the same thing.

With systems, it becomes easier to keep going and keep doing the things necessary to succeed. We start with small, easy steps and then do them consistently enough for them to become ingrained parts of our lives.

This allows us to do follow the systems naturally. We don’t have to force ourselves to keep going. That happens automatically.

If we develop good systems, then continuing to pursue what we desire in life is easy. We don’t have to keep changing course. We don’t have to keep starting over. We just keep following the system and making small tweaks and adjustments as we go.

In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams, he says, “I can’t change the fact that success requires a lot of work. But if you learn to appreciate the power of systems over goals, it might lower the price of success just enough to make it worth a go.”

I think that point can’t be overstated. Systems make it easier to chase your dreams. It doesn’t mean we suddenly can reach any goal we set. It means we simply start doing the things necessary to succeed.

If you look at successful people you will likely see more of the systems perspective than anything else. They tend to live and breathe their area of success. Many times they have built everything in their life to give them the most success in that one area.

They tend to build structures in their life that make it more and more likely that they will succeed in that area. Sometimes this is troublesome. We see many successful people getting divorced more frequently than the normal population. We hear stories of people getting rich but regretting not spending more time with their children until it is too late.

So most successful people rely on systems and habits to drive them towards success. But if we aren’t consciously creating these systems, we can easily create systems that increase the odds of success in one area but decrease the odds of success in another, important area.

Therefore, we have to be consciously aware of the systems and habits in our lives. We have to realize when we are moving in the right direction in many areas.

The way that I do this is to regularly monitor my progress. How am I doing in an area? What about other areas of my life? If I am discouraged by a stagnant career but my family life is fantastic, I know the answer isn’t to just ignore my family and work more hours at the office.

A better approach is to slowly adjust the systems and habits in my life. What can I do to improve? How can I grow my career without sacrificing my family time?

This whole approach makes it easy to keep going and going. It allows us to keep making progress and quickly adjust if we aren’t making enough progress towards what we desire. It suddenly becomes easier to keep going and doing the work than it would be to quit.