I can bet my left eye that 75% of my blog tribe are counting down to the New Year and looking forward to a brighter and better 2017. Actually, make that 80% (I am not entirely sure how anyone wants to collect my left eye if lose the bet).
There is just something about trudging through the current year that makes us hope for something better in the coming year.
The perceived opportunities that the New Year promises can blind us into realising that we are in a perpetual cycle of continuously hoping for the best in the future as opposed to seizing present opportunities.
For years, I found myself in this cyclical trap; year on year I will reach out in hope to the coming year while refusing to take stock of the current year and identify opportunities for improvement. I will set goals that didn’t keep me consistently on top of my game.
Then I read Scott Adams book called “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life.”
This is one of my favourite books and the particular lesson I learned that is relevant to this blog post is how to move away from a goal oriented lifestyle to a systems oriented lifestyle.
Simply put, it helps me create systems around me that maximise my potentials regardless of self imposed time frames.
I will give an examples.
One thing I hate the most is shopping in-store. I cannot begin to describe the effect this has on me. I constantly feel like I am wasting valuable time looking for fresh food to eat, gifts for friends or nice dresses to wear to endless dinner parties. So I set a system in place.
Instead of going through this shopping hell physically, I focused on sourcing out the best online platforms for me to repeatedly buy staples (food and toiletries) while subscribing to certain online department/ gift stores where I know I will be updated on the best price for certain items as opposed to spending endless hours looking for birthday presents.
Thankfully, none of my friends have fluid birthdays so I am able to buy gifts all year round and wrap them ready to present to happy friends.
With regard to my grocery shopping online, this has in turn ensured I lead a healthy eating lifestyle that keeps my waistline as trim as I like it. I especially like how Ocado (my online Grocery store) reminds me of items I did not put in my basket. Machine learning at its best.
Maybe you cannot identify with that system because you don’t understand why a human being will hate shopping in-store.
Here is another example.
I can bet £5 that a lot of people, especially women like me, can spend irredeemable hours picking out outfits for the day.
I have timed myself before and I can tell you that once in a lifetime, it has taken me 90 minutes to pick an outfit. I cringe in shame. That’s 90 minutes that I could have spent making money to hire a personal shopper.
Okay, I am exaggerating.
After that ridiculous waste of time, I decided I needed to optimise my dress up time. Instagram and Pinterest to the rescue!
I followed style bloggers who had similar bodies to mine, watched out for what suited them, experimented and now I can proudly say it takes me 15 minutes a day to get ready for work after a shower because I know exactly what fits me and I have sorted out my OOTD.
Actually, I tend to sort out outfits for the month.
If you still do not understand the Systems v. Goals argument, Scott Adams explains it better in his blog post.
As amazing as the New Year will definitely start out, take these few days in 2016 to work out a system that will maximise your potential and output beyond 2017.