A Session with Your English Coach: Do you need goals or systems?

By 3 January 2023 Non classé 2 Comments

You have goals for the next year.  But… what if focusing on your goals is not the best way to accomplish what you want? And what if you focused on systems instead? Today I’d like to help you with my experience as an English coach and a business owner.  That means you’ll learn about this really popular business topic (systems versus goals) while you learn great new Business English expressions.  And if you’re goal is to learn English in the new year? You’re going to get a lot of ideas.  

As a professional or business person, this is also an interesting topic for you to know how to discuss. Why? English-speaking business communities are talking about it! James Clear, one of my favorite authors has a great post on the topic for further inspiration.  He actually said this about goals and systems: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” 

As your English coach, I want you to remember that research in language learning says that you’ll be most effective if you use several learning modes: so watch today’s video lesson, listen carefully to the words and new expressions on this topic, then read this blog post after to review–and you’ll be making a big step towards improving your business English…maybe you’ll even have a new system in place!

And now…about those goals of yours. And the systems you can put in place to help you achieve them.

Don’t miss my next free, interactive workshop

You’re serious about improving your English and your business skills. And I’m serious about helping you do that. That’s why I hold workshops every month on business skills you need. Want your exclusive monthly invitation? It’s easy. Just sign up for my newsletter.

What you’ll learn in this article:

1. Goals and systems: what’s the difference?
2. Goals and systems: an example. 
3. Why goal-setting is not as effective as you think.
4. Focusing only on goals means putting off being happy.
5. Focus on your systems: it’s ok to be happy now!


1. Goals and systems: what’s the difference?

If you’re interested in Business, you’ve probably already thought a lot about goals. And you probably already know that goals are simply what you want to achieve (or do).

Systems are a little different. 

Systems are how we get things done. They are the habits we create so we can reach our goals.

Also check out my lesson: Feeling blocked in English is the #1 problem of adult learners. Here’s the solution.

2. Goals and systems: an example.

So, let’s look at an example of the difference between a goal and a system.
Let’s say that your goal is to get a better position or job within the next year.

Your goal = get a better job.

So you set up a system to help you do that.

Maybe you decide to call or email 3-4 business contacts a week to ask how they’re doing, or congratulate them on a new project. Or even share an interesting article with them. This is called warming up your network–getting people to remember you–in a good way. Maybe you also attend one networking event each month.

Your system = 

  • contact three or four people each week
  • attend one networking event each month.

3. Why goal-setting is not as effective as you think.

First: if you look at any successful person, it’s easy to see they’ve made goals.  But, goal-setting (or the act of setting goals) is not as effective as it looks. Think about it:

People who fail also set goals! You can set as many goals as you like. But if you don’t have a system, that might not help you.

Also check out my lesson: Understand Native Speakers: TED talk on simplifying your life [+Worksheet]

4. Focusing only on goals means putting off being happy.

Another problem with focusing on your goals is that it’s a little bit like saying,
“I’ll be happy when…” 
“I’ll be happy when I get a new job.”
“I’ll be happy when my business goes public.” 
“I’ll be happy when my English is the best in the office!”

I think you probably see the problem here! You’ll never be happy maybe. It’s so unmotivating. As your English coach, I want you to choose a better, more effective strategy–that will make you feel a LOT happier.

Do you really want to put off being happy? Or wait to be happy until you reach a big, long-term goal?

Yes, you can do hard things.

But improving at English doesn’t have to be one of those hard things! It can be much easier–that’s why having an English coach on your side is important. 

5. Focus on your systems: it’s ok to be happy now!

That’s what’s so great about focusing on your systems. Instead of being happy when you get the new job, you can be happy every time you connect with a business contact. Because you’re getting a little closer to your goal!

If you’re looking for a system that will help you reach your English-speaking goals, why not join me for a free, live, interactive workshop? I hold them regularly for people in my community and I share my expertise as an English coach so you’re more effective and improve faster. Just sign up for the newsletter and never miss an invitation.  (By the way, that’s a really great good step in your system).

And my next workshop is a really special one–a chance for you to see what it’s like with me inside a conversation workshop for motivated professionals like you. You’ll even have a chance to speak up in a comfortable setting. It’s on January 25th. Sign up to my newsletter and watch for your exclusive invitation so you can book your spot!

Take the next step for your English and your Business:

Match the goals with the systems that could help you achieve them.
#1 You want to run a marathon.
#2  You want to write a book in your area of expertise.
#3 You want to feel confident leading conference calls in English.

–You block out 2 hours two times a week in your schedule for writing.
–You spend time practicing ONE part of the conference call (the beginning) every day for a week.
–You set your alarm on your workout days, put your running shoes under your bed the night before, and have a regular appointment with a running buddy.

Improve your English in the comments:

The best way to become more confident using Business English is to practice!

Here’s your Confidence Challenge for this week:

  1. What is one new habit you’d like to start?  Let me know in the comments.

Further reading for professionals in English

Curious to learn more about the topic of the day? I’ve selected this excellent resource for you. It helps native speakers set up smart systems and reach their goals.

Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

Become more fluent & comfortable in conversations

If you would like to take the next step with me, discover my Faster Fluency Conversation Club Membership Program!

It helps you become more confident speaking in conversations, and get a lot more vocabulary on many different topics! And it’s a fabulous community of “English buddies” from around the world!

TIP: Use the code FFCC40 to save -40% off your 1st month of membership! 

More details at 


Can’t wait to see you in the Club,


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