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Setting Goals Alone Won't Be Enough

Melvyn Tan
Melvyn Tan
2 min read
Setting Goals Alone Won't Be Enough

Imagine this.

You have less than 50 days to come up with a plan.

It is not something you’ve not done before.

That said, from your past experiences, you also know that having a plan doesn’t guarantee the achievement of your goals.

What would you do?

Post-war era

After the war, Japan was under the Allied military occupation till 1952.

In 1950, William Edwards Deming started work with the leaders of Japanese industry. Many in Japan attributed Deming’s work to the Japanese economic miracle that lasted for more than three decades.

One specific aspect of Deming’s work—the PDCA cycle—led to the movement of continuous improvement. This movement, also known as kaizen, helped path the way for the productivity and quality movement in Singapore.

This has, in part, led to the consistent economic growth of more than 7 percent annually. And Singapore came to be known as one of the Four Asian Dragons or 亚洲四小龙.


In statistics, a single data point is also known as a unit of observation.

When you have two data points, you are able to make a comparison.

With three or more data points, you will then start to see a trend. For simplicity sake, we will assume there are three types of trend: upward, downward, and yo-yo.

So if you’ve achieved your goals once, you might call it a coincidence. If you’ve achieved your goals twice, you might think its luck.

But when you’ve achieved your goals three times in a roll, you know you are onto something.

In consultant parlance, we call this ‘consistency’.

Consistency doesn’t happen by chance.

Consistency is by design.

Consistency can be had when you have a system in place. And system is basically consultant parlance for routines, which I’ve written about it here.

For my work as a creator, I’ve developed a workflow for my tasks. If you don’t have one, you might want to consider adapting it from here.

In summary, having a routine or workflow or system increases the chances of you achieving your goals on a consistent basis.

Is there something that’s better than a system?

The answer is yes.

Melvyn Tan

Despite living the good life at midlife, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My aim here is to reinvent midlife, learn new skills, and understand how the world works post-COVID.