Have you ever wondered how to change parts of your life? There is a proven way to make changes that not only stick, but always get results.
A System is a RECIPE.
A Recipe for SUCCESS.
To be more technically a system can be defined(1) as:
1. A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole.
2. A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method
If you want to succeed at something a SYSTEM is the simplest way to get there.
Notice the word “simplest”. Simple does NOT always mean easy. For example if I told you to move a large pile of small rocks to the top of a hill, it is a very simple task. But it is not an easy one.
When we use a system as a RECIPE FOR SUCCESS we focus on the second definition (but both definitions are relevant.)
A set of PRINCIPLES or PROCEDURES according to which something is done.
For example let’s take this recipe for Cherry Chicken on a Bed of Rice(2).
Cherry Chicken on a Bed of Rice
This is a convenient way to cook a whole meal in one pan. The rice becomes moist and savory as it absorbs the flavor of the chicken. Serve with steamed broccoli or fresh salad.
In a large baking pan, spread uncooked rice evenly along the bottom. Pour water over rice. Place chicken pieces in pan. (Note: chicken will displace the water slightly. Make sure your pan is deep enough to hold it all.) In a small bowl, combine cherry preserves, wine, vinegar and spices. Spread on top of chicken. Cook covered for 40 minutes at 350°. Remove foil and continue cooking another 15-20 minutes until water has evaporated and chicken is browned and cooked through. If you decide to use brown rice instead of white rice, the cooking time will increase as brown rice cooks much slower.
If you follow the steps (procedures) then you should get something similar to the end product which should look like...
Now you don’t need to follow the steps exactly for a decent result. If you leave out something like the garlic, the end result will still be tasty. Or if you swap out the balsamic vinegar for apple cider or red wine vinegar things will still be OK.
But if you leave out the chicken it’s not going to be the same dish. If you swap out the 1 cup of rice for 1 cup of salt, your dish will be inedible.
The amount of “wiggle’ room depends on many things, such as how close you want to mimic the original (WANTS) and what you have available (LIMITATIONS).
As you get more familiar with the principles and procedures, you gain more freedom. You start to understand WHY it works and HOW to change it, while still being successful.
What does this mean for your life?
99% of the things that we want to accomplish in life somebody has ALREADY developed a system (recipe) that will consistently produce the result we want.
Do you want to lose some fat? There are systems that produce that result.
Such as the Precision Nutrition System by Dr John Bearidi
Do you want to be more productive? There are systems that produce that result.
Such as the Getting Things Done System by David Allen
Do you want to move with less pain? There are systems that produce that result
Such as the MobilityWod System by Dr. Kelly Starrett
Do you want change your habits? There are systems that produce that result
Such as the Atomic Habits System by James Clear
Do you want to get stronger? There are systems that produce that result
Such as the StrongFirst Training System by Pavel Tsatsouline
Do you want to be able to focus better? There are systems that produce that result.
Such as the Waking Up System by Sam Harris
Sometimes the systems are rigid, sometimes they are flexible. Sometimes the steps are straightforward, sometimes you have some figuring out to do, but if you learn the principles and procedures then
ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU WANT IS ACHIEVABLE.
Is there a catch? Yes. Three major points need to be considered.
First, not every system ACTUALLY WORKS. There are bogus systems out there.
Second, there are always MULTIPLE systems that work for any given result.
Third, to MAINTAIN the results of a system you have to MAINTAIN the system.
How do you know which systems WORK.
You can never know. But there are some good ways to judge them. For example
Principle 1: Systems make results simple, not EASY.
If you think you can lose a ton of weight and look great naked without exercising or good nutrition, you are wrong.
There is no magic belt and no magic pill. It is not easy to lose weight and get fit.
You are going to have to do some work, in this case change your nutrition and/or exercise levels. Which can be made very simple, but is not always easy.
Principle 2 : Use a system that fits YOUR lifestyle
How do you choose one of the many systems that work?
There are a couple of factors for you to consider such as your preferences, available time, financial costs, etc.
In most cases there are multiple systems that can get the results you are looking for. Look at you life as a whole and find the one that best fits your circumstances at this moment in time. Remember you can always switch systems in the future if your circumstances change.
Principle 3: Systems only produce results while you are using them.
How do you keep the results?
Unfortunately systems do not upkeep themselves.
When you have goals with a concrete deadline, this is not a problem. For example when I was in doing my undergraduate degree at age 27 (after previous failed attempts), I developed a system to get Straight A’s.
As soon as I graduated (with straight A’s) I rolled up my dry erase wall calendar (the most critical piece of equipment for the system), deleted my memorization apps and returned to regular life. Mission accomplished.
But for most life changing goals you don’t just want to achieve the result and move on.
You want to maintain the result.
For example, If you want to lose 20 pounds, then going on a diet that makes it happen that is great! But if you stop the diet, and go back to how you were eating before you lost the weight you will gain it all back.
If gaining the weight back makes you unhappy, then you didn't want to lose 20 lbs.
What you actually wanted is to maintain a weight that is 20 lbs less than the weight you are maintaining now.
Or if you want to organize your home, then spend a week putting everything into its proper place, that is great! But if you don’t put things back in their place after you use them, your house will soon return to being a mess.
Unless you only wanted to present a organized house one time, and don't care about the usually mess, then you need to maintain your organizational system.
What have I learned about systems?
I have used many systems, studied many systems, and successfully implement many to change my life.
Now I want to bring the same power to you.
By telling you about the systems that implement, studied (and often had formal training in) to give you the power to choose the systems that will create the life you want.
Whether that is being confident in the body you have, getting a hold of your to do list, or finding meaning in you life, I want to help you find the right system to help you.
It doesn’t matter where you are now, what matters is what direction you are heading.
Take control with a system that will bring you to your destination