Systems for Success

They say that the keys to success in anything are things like discipline, will power, and self-control, but in fact, that isn’t the case.

What we need is a system in place that makes it easy to do the things that we say we want to do.


Our instincts are to take the easiest path. If the easiest path is to hit the snooze button we will. Therefore if we want to get up early in the morning, we need to make it difficult to hit the snooze button.

If we want to find time in our day to some exercise, we need to plan that into our day like we would any other kind of appointment and make sure that all our tools are waiting for us to get going. It’s easy to say “I have no time” when you haven’t thought about it.

The majority of us are, in fact, much like automatons. We prefer a pre-set programme so that we don’t have to think. Even those of us who think we hate routines would be disturbed by the alarm not going off in the morning or the shop being sold out of our favourite coffee.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have free choice, it means that once we make a choice we want it to be on repeat, not shuffle.

Build It and Success Will Come

Consequently, success is not built on having the willpower to get on and do a thing, it’s built on developing habits, creating routines and taking advantage of the cue, craving, response, and reward habit loop.

It’s also built on having a continuity plan for when things go awry, for the days when the ability to act is taken over by tiredness or boredom, and times of the day when we are easily distracted.

One Final Step

Our final step in this process is tracking progress and falls into James Clear’s final law for creating a habit – make it satisfying.


Refine your actions of the last few days. Are there any routines that you could add to take advantage of your robot brain?


Some simple methods of tracking and free downloads to get you started.

Do you like routine? Are there any instances where you don’t think of it as routine but wouldn’t like it to be different?

Until next time, remember, if the excess baggage is weighing you down, you can always leave it in lost luggage.

Best wishes,

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