A young man contemplates one weekly decision—the subject of this email
January 2, 2023

Your Systems Win

Read time —
2 Minutes

The  second most highlighted quote in Atomic Habits  is this: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

These are true words.

In fact, the whole statement represents a brutal fact most of us ignore to our cost. Goals are easier. Simple to think of, simple to declare, and simple to focus on. A new year delivers new goals. New dreams become charged by the resolution of a number change in the year seems to inspire.

We become giddy with the ambitions of looking thinner, or becoming richer, believing these are pathways to happiness we’re missing.

Ambition is one thing, but the engine of HOW matters more.

‘How’ takes into the weeds of behaviour.

How takes us back to the critical second sentence James Clear shared with us. “You fall to the level of your systems.”

No goal happens overnight. No goal is ever achieved by intensity alone.

Let’s quickly invert those two statements. Goals take time, and goals require consistency. Time and consistency lead us to one thing—systems.

If I take one lesson away from my second reading of Atomic Habits it's this, systems win.

 Making decisions  is no different. Choices made spontaneously or in moments of intensity rarely end well. Decisiveness is a worthy goal, but without a system, decision-making is chaotic at best, and disastrous at worst.

Systems give us the safety net to make choices on our terms.

It is this thought I want to carry into this week’s  One Weekly Decision . Being decisive is a necessary trait every decision-maker should aspire to. But how do you decide? What system do you use to make decisions?

These are the questions you should be asking yourself as a decision-maker. Remember, you fall to the level of your systems.

So, what does your system look like?

Thanks for reading.


Founder,  The Resolve Blog  


You can compliment this edition of One Weekly Decision with  Reflective Decision Making , as it's an article which was the most read article this year.  The article  maps out the process for slowing down your decision-making and systemising the way you decide.

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