If want to lose weight or gain muscles, embrace a system!

Like most people, I was taught that if you want to achieve anything in life you must set goals.  When I didn’t reach the particular goal I would feel defeated.  Like a failure.  It’s the reason most people give up on their dream or goals.

I had to make a change in the way I was approaching my life. Through mentorship I learned that developing a daily system is a better way to stay on point.  Developing daily systems changed my life and continues to inspire me to set goals because I know how to go about getting the desired results I set out to achieve.  Daily systems have helped me, and now I want to share the basic idea with you.

The basic idea is that with small, actionable, and not overwhelming steps, you can generate a lot of “small wins” daily.  Daily wins provide momentum and inspire you to continue what you set out to do.

We’re much more likely to succeed in changing our habits when we use systems instead of goals because goals can be somewhat constrictive or single-focused while systems allow us to celebrate the small daily wins i.e., a whole day without sugar or eating 5 servings of vegetables in a day, or going to the gym for leg day and having sore quads.

And what happens when you lose the 10 pounds or finally see the muscle definition you’ve worked so hard for?  Do you stop what you’ve been doing?  Do you quit the daily system that allowed you to achieve the goal?  Most people drop the system and then are surprised when the weight comes back or the muscle definition falls away.

1. Goals may reduce your happiness ability.

When you’re working towards a goal – like losing x number of pounds – you’re essentially saying to yourself that you’re somehow not good enough and that you must lose a random number of pounds to feel happy.  Instead of the single-focus of the goal, commit to the system of showing up every day – things that are 100% in your control.

2. Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress.

Answer this: when you’ve achieved your goal, when you’ve lost those 10 pounds, then what?

Most people revert to what they were doing before, put weight back on, then decide they need to lose weight again.  Wouldn’t it be easier to just focus on eating healthy meals and exercising moderately rather than chasing some number on the scale?  With a daily system you will be able to lose weight without obsessing or even thinking about it.  Think about the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race

3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over.

When it comes to weight loss especially, most people underestimate how long it takes to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable fashion.  Midway through, they’ll start to make choices that sabotage their original goal, and then burn out, end up hating the process and quit.  It makes sense to focus on eating healthier every day, not for a small amount of time.

Think about systems as a micro-habit.

An example of a poor fitness micro-habit is “Eating heavy lunches make me feel tired and drain me of my energy.”   Instead, focus on a healthy daily micro-habit, “to combat my urge to eat a bacon cheeseburger when I’m out to lunch, I’m going to make a habit of ordering an appetizer and a salad as an entrée.”

Fall in love with a system  

While goals might be motivating in the short-term, they’re just that: short-term.

Systems aren’t as motivating initially, however they are the reason you make actual progress.  And nothing is as motivating as progress.

Over time you will feel better AND look better.  Developing and embracing daily systems, will help you to grow strong, support a lifestyle that is healthy & manageable, and celebrate daily!