What are goals and systems? In this article, you will find out why it is important to plan your schedules according to goals and system and some of the key strategies on setting goals and systems to help you achieve any results that you desire.

Let’s say for example someone wants to lose weight from 70 kg to 60 kg. Most of the time, this person would plan to achieve that by dieting and exercising. That is a goal based approach to reach the desired result – 60 kg. The problem is, most people never get to achieve this goal because there is no system in place. Having a goal is great, it is like having a clear destination in mind for you to travel from point A to point B. We all need to have goals in order to go any where in life. Having a goal is clearly not enough if you don’t have a vehicle to get to the destination. Especially if the destination is new, you need to know how to get there and the transportation vehicle is the system.

A system gets you to where you want to go

For a system based approach, let’s say if the same person were to lose 10 kg, he would say that he will go 3 times a week to workout at a local gym and everyday, he would commit to be on the ketogenic diet . Therefore, a system based approach focuses on the plan to get to the destination.

So, to achieve your desired exam results, focus on the system instead of the goal. For a student who commits and completes his study sessions every single day of the week will find that scoring As is a result of a good studying system. Hence, getting an A is not the goal here.

Thinking about your goals everyday might demoralize you. Reaching your goals takes time. In the microscopic day to day life, any step towards the goal could be too minute that you might get the wrong perception that you are not heading anywhere near your goals and this would result in most students giving up in the process. Does that mean that you should not set any goals?

Goal setting is the foundation for system setting.

The first step to set any system is to be very clear of the goals that you want to reach. To effectively set your destination, use the SMARTS system to set your goals.

S – Specific (well defined and clear)

M- Measurable (the ability to measure your progress)

A – Achievable (possible to attain)

R- Realistic (relevant to your purpose)

T – Time ( a well defined target date)

S- Stretch (add in a small 5% stretch to push yourself further)

An example of a SMARTS goal and a study system

Let’s say that student A has always been an AL 5 student scoring between 65 to 74 marks for math. A possible SMARTS goal could be ” To achieve AL 3 by scoring 81 marks by the end of the year examinations for math.”

With the goal in place, student A can now set a system to help him achieve AL3.

Such a system could be

  1. Commit to revising 1 math topic a day for 30 minutes
  2. Do 1 practice paper a week
  3. Review the practice paper
  4. Put more focus on the weaker topics

By now, I’m sure that you will be able to see that scoring AL3 for student A would be a positive consequence of following his system strictly. I hope that this article has given you a framework to kickstart your study system.

Do write in the comments below to let me know what you think.