“Goals are for losers, systems are for winners” so says Scott Adams author and creator of the Dilbert comic strip.

Really? If we’ve “learned” anything in our quests to achieve and succeed wasn’t it that goal setting was the way to go?

Yes! However I see Adams’ point and have put it to work in my own life. By parking our attention and effort on the process, the day to day, “What’s Important Now” (Lou Holtz style) or “W.I.N.” we pave the path of consistency. And when it comes to achievement and success, consistency is where its at.

Consider a golfer preparing for a shot. Physical and mental position intact. The club connects with the ball, only at the last second, the golfer cannot delay the gratification of seeing the ball fly and therefore despite knowing better, lifts her head slightly to see it where it goes. In doing so, she tanks the shot since the full swing was not completed.

Alternatively, focusing on physical and mental position, driving the shot completely through and only THEN looking up, ensures the process is complete. If she focuses on the system she has implemented hundreds of times, the end result has to show up favorably.

Focusing on process empowers us moment to moment to do the next best thing in service of our goal. If we repeat the process again and again, the rest takes care of itself.

I embrace Steven Covey’s second habit (of Highly Effective People): “Begin with the end in mind.” But from there, I work backwards to build the systems that ensure consistency. I am with Scott Adams on this one.

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