When you start to use the systems and habits approach to improvement what you are really doing is focusing on execution. You focus on how to improve.
While this may seem obvious, the benefits are incredible. Most people avoid execution and instead put their focus on everything but execution.
In business they focus on developing insightful strategy or marketing plans. In our personal life we rely on setting goals or having a passion.
With all of this high-level focus, it is no wonder why so many people struggle to actually achieve their objectives.
The goal isn’t what we should be focused on. Instead we should be focused on the process. In other words, we should ignore the outcome and rewards we hope for and instead put all our attention on what we have to do in order to succeed.
Even Ben Franklin understood this. In Poor Richard’s Almanack he says, “’Tis easy to frame a good bold resolution; But hard is the Task that concerns execution.”
Every year around January first, people all over start to think of areas of their life that they wish were different. They come up resolutions to help them gain their wishes.
They assume they only need a short pursuit to the goal to reach it. They assume they can break their ingrained habits with a little willpower and effort.
But habit is always underestimated. It tends to win out over our weak attempts at change.
But if we start slowly and work to adjust the systems and habits in our life over time, we start to learn what it takes to execute on our desires. We learn what it actually takes to hit the targets we set willy-nilly whenever the push to change grabs our attention.
Execution is where change happens. Execution is what determines success. Execution is where we should spend our time. Execution should be held above anything else in order to learn what it takes to ACTUALLY follow through and improve.
If you are one to set resolutions, learn to start following up the goal with a specific plan for how you are going to reach that target. Then ignore your goal and instead put all your attention on the process that you developed.
This will help you start to live in the world of execution. You will start to see where it is much more difficult in real life than in the planning or daydreaming phase. Those are easy but following through takes more energy.
The good news is that the more you do this the more you will become comfortable with the process. You will start to understand how to change. You will learn what it takes to move the needle in a positive direction. Then you can work to improve the process and continue to execute at a higher level over time.