Systems control behaviors, not outcomes.
This case of pursuing systems to outcomes is a bifurcation of focusing on what is controllable –
I pointed to this idea before in the case of a job search.
So, to give another example: “I want to lose 20 lbs.” would be a bad focus.
A more tangible and behavior driven focus would be:
“Everyday I want to walk 3 miles,
Eat 3 servings of vegetables – and 3 servings of fruit,
Drink 64 ounces of water,
And skip dinner.”
Five check-marks makes the day a win. And that daily behavior becomes the goal.
This can be applied to anything, but the best advice seems to be to keep your system simple.
In these cases, feelings of shame and failure are entirely counterproductive, as are goal-driven versus behavior-driven tracking. Rewarding weight loss or fat-to-muscle ratio is far less successful in long-term studies than recognizing and rewarding behavior. When we make it about the work rather than the goal, we find that outcomes improve. The field of behavioral science has all sorts of data on what happens when rewards are connected to outcomes rather than behaviors (namely, people cheat, break rules, game systems, and ignore the safety of themselves and those around them). There
isbeauty and clarity in this truth. When we’re freed from the mythology that we control outcomes and asked instead to concentrate on behaviors, we have a powerful tool to fight against negativity and anxiety. It’s a gift.
-Rand Fishkin, Lost And Founder