James Clear

James Clear quotes on goal setting

Author of the #1 NYT bestseller Atomic Habits. I write about building better habits.

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1

If you genuinely care about the goal, you’ll focus on the system.

2

Systems are for people who care about winning repeatedly. Goals are for people who care about winning once.

3

If you... 1) develop a bias for moving fast 2) consistently ask, “What’s the real goal here and is there a better way to accomplish it?” ... you can accomplish a lot in one life.

4

What is the real goal? The real goal is not to “beat the market.” The goal is to build wealth. The real goal is not to read more books. The goal is to understand what you read. Don’t let a proxy become the target. Don’t optimize for the wrong outcome.

5

A goal is a desired outcome. A strategy is a desired outcome combined with a plan for achieving it. Create strategies, not goals.

6

Whenever there is a gap between your habits and your goals, your habits will always win.

7

Having good health isn’t everything, but not having it is. Having money isn’t everything, but not having it is. You don’t need 6-pack abs or a million dollars to be happy, but do yourself a favor and learn the fundamentals of fitness and finance. They bring a margin of safety.

8

New goals don't deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is not an outcome, it is a process. For this reason, all of your energy should go into building better rituals, not chasing better results.

9

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

10

If two people have the same goal, you know nothing about the similarity of their results. But if two people have the same daily habits, you can infer quite a bit about the similarity of their results. Your results are largely a byproduct of your habits.

11

The advice to “focus on the process, not the outcome” is only partially correct. Life is certainly not about any single outcome, but good processes are those that increase your winning percentage. If your outcomes aren’t improving, the process needs to change.

12

Results have little to do with the goals we set and nearly everything to do with the systems we follow. Goals are the results we want to achieve. Systems are the processes that lead to those results. If you want results, forget goals. Focus on your system.

13

I’m becoming less convinced that people are “irrational” and more convinced that when you see behavior that looks irrational it's because (1) you don’t understand that person’s goals, (2) you don't have all the info or (3) you're viewing the situation on a different time horizon.

14

Ultimately, anyone who wishes to fulfill their potential must come to terms with the endless nature of self-improvement. Specific goals or projects may have a beginning and an end, but the process of improvement goes on forever. There is no finish line.

15

Best arguments for goal setting: -Goals can motivate and inspire you -Goals make it easier to say no to distractions Best arguments against goal setting: -Goal setting overvalues the outcome, undervalues the process -Goals push happiness off to the next milestone

16

Surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you. You’ll rise together.

17

If you have a goal, the most important thing is to start. Do not wait for motivation. If it’s not there, it will come after starting.

18

If you have a goal, the most important thing is to start. Do not wait for motivation. If it’s not there, it will come after starting.

19

Incentives are more important than goals. Setting a goal tells people what you want them to do. Designing incentives tells people what they will be rewarded for doing. When the incentives are right, you don't even need goals.

20

Want to accomplish your goals on a consistent basis? Stop setting goals and making deadlines and start building a better system.

21

Setting goals can be useful for planning your progress, but you need to design a better system to actually make progress.

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