Build Systems to Reach Your Goals

December 31st, 2013 – I told myself I’d read 12 books.

A whole year later, I’d read only 8 books.

So I made the same New Year’s Resolution again and still fell short of the mark another year later.

Two years in a row I failed at the same old resolution.

So on December 31st, 2015 – I told myself that I’m going to forget about making any other resolutions and vowed that I would completely focus on hitting my goal of reading books for the year.

But not 12 this time, but 15.

Why I failed 2 years in a row

I really wanted to read consistently.

I thought that by making a New Year’s Resolution, it’d be enough to read 12 books in the year.

One book a month – doesn’t sound too bad, right?

But this is why I failed two years in a row.

It’s because the goal was to read 12 books.

No specifics on how to do that, no system to carry me towards achieving my long-term goal.

Setting a big goal like that without having a plan on how to do it is setting yourself up for failure.

What’s different this year

So far – I’ve read 12 books this year.

How’d I do it?

What’s different is that I have a system that’s helping me achieve my goal.

And my system is this:

Always read on the train (to and fro university, work, whatever)

Always read when in transit (Eurostar, plane, whatever)


It seems vague but I travel everyday.

And if I can read 10 pages one way and another 10 pages on my way back home – that’s some decent chunk of reading done.

To get even more reading done, I just to fill empty pockets of time by reading an e-book on my phone.

Waiting for the lift, waiting for a meeting, waiting for a friend etc.

That’s my system.

All there is to it.

Goals seem like insurmountable mountains to climb; systems are the baby steps that will actually get you to the top.

What system can you create for yourself to make sure you hit your goals?

Post some thoughts in the comments below and remember to subscribe for a weekly newsletter.

P.S. Thanks for reading.