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The system is missing

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.  

The system is missing

Scott Miker

Whenever we set out to improve, we have to build the right systems. The systems are the key to whether or not we actually improve and get better.

But most people spend time focused elsewhere. They work on building their motivation. They create plans. They create vision boards displaying all the things they will buy once they succeed.

This is a mistake because they aren’t putting enough effort into the most important element, the system. The system contains all of the actions, steps, procedures, routines, habits, etc. that are required to actually change.

Instead look at an area that you want to improve and start to understand how the things that you are doing and thinking on a regular basis are creating the situation you are currently in.

Imagining a different future situation isn’t enough to change the system. You need to actually do the hard work of adjusting elements of the system in order to succeed.

Once you understand that a system change is needed then we can start to look to systems thinking for insight. We can follow the systems and habits approach to improvement to slowly adjust the systems over time to get better.

This is crucial because these provide insight into how to change the system, rather than trying to change a one-off aspect of the system.

If you want to improve your health, you can’t just plan, strategize, envision the rewards, and then poof you suddenly have better health. Instead you have to find a way to change what you are doing on a regular basis.

You need to find a way to be more active. You have to find a way to eat healthier.

Those are two main elements to improving your health. There are others such as stress management and sleep management but the two main elements to start are exercise and nutrition.

If you are unable to change anything about your activity level and you don’t change your diet in any way, it is highly unlikely that you will see any lasting improvement to your health.

Conversely if you develop the right structures in your life to consistently increase your activity level and you change your diet to include more healthy options and less unhealthy options, then you will likely see improvement.

The actual change, the work, is the systematic elements. That is where the rubber hits the road and improvement becomes more than a pipedream. This is where you can start to make progress and start improving your self.

In Simple Complexity by William Donaldson, PhD, the author says, “A system with a motivating purpose, a compelling vision and mission, and goals aligned with these is a powerful force.”

We all have the ability to create this “powerful force” by creating the right systems in our life. If we do this and align it with our purpose, vision, mission and goals, we have the formula to achieve great success and improve significantly.