We Fall To The Level Of Our Systems
In Atomic Habits James Clear has an iconic quote “You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems." I want to explain what that means in my experience so that you can actually improve the quality of your life.
The concept is spot on. There’s a reason why we don’t live out our best intentions every moment of every day. Things get in the way - We get triggered into emotional states and unexpected urgencies pop up out of nowhere. It is unfair to have the expectation that we can always be at our best because so much of what allows for that to happen is beyond our control.
So with that in mind, as things start to spiral down you need something that will catch you from going all the way. That’s where systems come in. They’re designed into your environment to help you hold a higher standard with less effort so that it can withstand the chaos of life.
Functionally, when you establish new upgraded systems in your life, you raise your baseline. You elevate your standards and what you’re willing to tolerate by having systems of accountability, awareness, identifying limiting factors, and performance in place to help you be better.
For example, I have a system for going to bed on time. I have an alarm that goes off at 9:15 to help me kick off my night routine. I’ve further solidified that system by telling my fiance my intention and now she’s aware of how I view it as a priority. And as you’d expect, that has positively impacted my sleep schedule and I hold myself to a higher standard.
Another example - There are things that I want to do every morning. My system is to run through a check-list of those things so that I don’t forget one or overlook something important.
Whether you realize it or not, you have a system for everything already. Your life runs on your personal systems. The problem is that many of these systems weren’t designed intentionally and therefore aren’t at the caliber you’d hope to achieve, which is why you don’t achieve to the extent that you want to.
But that can all change quickly and permanently when you invest in building new systems that raise your baseline and improve the quality of your day to day activity. If that’s something you’re interested in, check out a 21 day Bootcamp I put together called the Super Habits System, which is all about installing the core systems that help you increase your daily consistency and capacity to get exceptional results in your life.