The start of a new year is a common time to set goals or make resolutions. We have renewed energy to make this the year we finally drop those 10 pounds or get out of debt. For a while, we make progress. We know that if we can just maintain our enthusiasm and will power, this time will be different.

Unfortunately, it only takes until the third or fourth week in January for many of us to get off track and settle into a routine that looks much like it always has.

The problem, according to James Clear, isn’t that we tend to set the wrong goals, it’s that we go about their accomplishment in the wrong way. Clear, author of Atomic Habits, says we’re too focused on the end point and not nearly enough on a process that will get us there. As he puts it, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

Goals are helpful in setting the direction, but systems are how we get there, and systems are all about daily habits.

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