Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

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.  

Using systems to improve isn’t magic

Scott Miker

I’ve read a lot of books about using systems and habits to improve and accomplish goals. As I read, sometimes it seems to be presented in a way where it seems like we just found out about some magic tactic.

It almost seems like success in anything is suddenly guaranteed. All we have to do is follow the system. But it’s more complicated than that.

Read More

Taking on something new

Scott Miker

Whenever we take on something new we tend to go through an awkward stage. I remember learning to play the guitar when I was younger. I could barely remember where my fingers were supposed to go to form the chords.

I would stumble around and take pauses between notes. It was completely un-musical. It sounded horrible. If I didn’t explain the song I was trying to play nobody would think it was a real song.

Read More

Simplicity matters

Scott Miker

When we start creating systems and processes in a business it is easy to let it become a complicated mess. There is a lot of complexity and we need to make sure the process accounts for many variables.

But as we do this, we should actively look for ways to simplify. It sounds much easier said than done, but if we keep this focus on simplicity we can cut through some of the unnecessary detail.

Read More

Prepare for the challenges

Scott Miker

When we set out on a journey to reach a new goal, we often spend a lot of our time envisioning what it will be like when we reach the finish line. We think about the rewards and how we will feel when we win.

We only spend a small number of our thoughts on challenges. At this point we breeze through potential struggles in our mind assuming that we either won’t have any or we will push right through them.

Read More

Learn to monitor and track your systems

Scott Miker

In the systems and habits approach to improvement, we learn how to form systems to help us reach our goals. We design the processes, the routines and the habits that take us towards success.

This helps to start changing our behaviors so that we automatically do the right thing. We don’t have to rely on willpower for every positive decision we make throughout the day.

Read More

Be an active participant in your life

Scott Miker

Many people that I know seem to just go through life without much thought about the direction they are heading. They think about immediate things such as problems that come up or challenges, but they don’t take the time really determine what it is they want.

Sometimes this is because we just know. We have a solid foundation of what we want out of life and it is easy to stick to it.

Read More

Avoid the excessive, extravagant and the extreme

Scott Miker

There is a line in the ancient took, the Tao Te Ching that says that we should avoid excess, extravagance and extremes.

It states that as the key to remaining happy and calm through life. If we strive for these areas we stop following nature’s way bringing unhappiness. If we push for these areas we can’t sustain them and we always worry about keeping up with those levels.

Read More

Use Feedback Loops in Your Improvement Journey

Scott Miker

Feedback loops are a systems concept where you have an outcome from a system being put back into the input of the system.  This tends to reinforce the system or keep it balanced.

There are two different types of feedback loops with several variations of each.  Each can be used in designing the systems and habits of your life.  But you have to understand each and understand how they can be used to gain the most from them.

Read More

The more you prepare the less nervous you get

Scott Miker

Tom Brady is arguably the greatest football player of all time.  His accomplishments are unmatched.  He has won numerous individual awards, such as MVP, as well as team awards.  His team consistently plays for championships.

Tom Brady was recently interviewed for an upcoming playoff game and he was asked about whether or not he was nervous.  His response was very telling of Brady and his ability to prep for a big game.

Read More

Measure and track your performance

Scott Miker

In business environments we tend to measure and track much more than in our personal lives.  Businesses utilize different types of information to get a good sense of how the business is performing. 

But in our personal lives we don’t.  It could be that we are too lazy or that we don’t think we need to measure because everything is directly accessible to us.  But when it comes to improvement, performance measurement is very important.

Read More

Know what you do before you set a new goal

Scott Miker

One aspect of self-improvement that often gets overlooked is to understand what you currently do.  What is the current process?

We tend to get so excited about the future and what we hope to achieve that we don’t accurately assess where we are.  So we assume we can set big goals since others have achieved similar results. 

Read More

Try Less to Accomplish More

Scott Miker

The systems and habits approach to improvement gives us a general way to go about improving any aspect we choose.  We can get better in any number of areas as long as we follow the general systems guidelines to build the right structures, patterns, routines, and habits in our life.

One of the major differences between this approach and others is that other approaches rely almost exclusively on effort and motivation.  The systems and habits approach uses much less effort and motivation and is more concerned with consistency. 

Read More

Take your time (even if it means setting lessor goals) and keep making progress

Scott Miker

When it comes to setting goals and trying to accomplish new objectives in life, it is natural to want to get there quickly.  We want to reach the finish line right away.

This leads to a natural tendency to rush.  We rush through the hard work in order to get to the prize.  Unfortunately, though, this rushing hurts our ability to win the prize.  It makes it more likely that we will fall short of our goal.

Read More

Perfect system

Scott Miker

The world is full of perfect systems.  We usually don’t see the perfection because we are too busy judging aspects of the system that we dislike.   

Most systems have side effects that seem negative at times but when looking at the full system we can see the perfection in the system. 

Read More

Learn to fail forward instead of quitting

Scott Miker

Failure is part of life.  We all experience failures at various points in our lives.  It is inevitable. 

What matters isn’t that we fail, but how we respond.  Many people experience a failure and then quit.  They hate the feeling of failing so they justify their inaction because they simply don’t want to experience that feeling again.

Read More

How the systems and habits approach to improvement deals with change

Scott Miker

Using the systems and habits approach to improve gives us a great path to move forward towards our goals.  It sets out specific areas to leverage in order to build new routines and habits in our lives.  It focuses more on the process than the outcome and more on making progress than striving for instant perfection.

One thing in life that everyone faces on a daily basis is the incredible rate of change in the world.  New technologies emerge or people make decisions that impact us and suddenly we find that the world around us seems to have shifted.

Read More

Systems thinking is more prevalent than you probably realize

Scott Miker

Years ago I worked for a non-profit organization that assisted small businesses.  We provided all sorts of resources for them and guidance on areas of their business. 

This was a great experience for me.  Being a former small business owner, I had an inside view to some of the challenges that small business owners face.  I also had started to better understand how business owners could use systems to improve their business.

Read More

Strive for progress and continuous improvement and ignore perfection

Scott Miker

One thing that can quickly trip someone up who is trying to reach a goal is to focus on perfection to soon.  They expect perfection and anything less just isn’t good enough.

It might seem like a great strategy to work as hard as we can.  But it actually causes an attitude of procrastination.  It becomes safer for us to not take action than risk failure.

Read More

Not taking action is a choice

Scott Miker

We all have choices.  Our days are filled with millions and millions of little choices that we make.  But most choices are made automatically with little conscious thought.   

Some choices are obvious.  When we sit down at a restaurant, we consciously choose the food we want to eat.  When we decide to go for an advanced degree we choose to go back to college.  When we get a call from a friend asking to go out for drinks we consciously choose to go or not go. 

Read More