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An interesting take on goal-setting versus system setting -Living in the moment rather than in the future

November 23, 2013| By

In MBTI® (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®) terms,  goal-setting is everything for  iNtuitives.  It’s the carrot that pulls them forward.  (If you’re not familiar with type, go to About Personality Typing” and watch the slideshow on personality typing.  There’s also a free personality quiz so you can find out what your type is.)



The blog article at  may have us rethinking goal-setting and consider whether goal setting can have negative effects.  Goal-setting by its very nature means something is going to happen some time in the future.  There’s a lot that can happen between now and then.  And setting goals can leave you empty once it’s accomplished.  For example, you go on a diet to reach a certain weight.  Once you get to that weight, you figure you can go back to what you were doing before.  Of course, that’s what got you into trouble in the first place.

Even though the writer doesn’t refer to personality typing, what he says can so easily be interpreted in terms of type.  In this article, Ps (Perceivers) come out looking pretty good, considering that process is so important to them.  They’re much more into “working it” than “completing it” and according to the blog, it’s the being in the process that helps you make the necessary changes.

As a dietitian and weight-loss specialist, I always tell my clients that you can make all the future plans you want, but losing weight happens in the here-and-now.   What you eat right now, how much exercise you get right now will produce results.  Planning to eat better and to exercise is just mental gymnastics.  So, I have to agree that maybe having a system not a goal is more effective for accomplishment and change.

I just finished the book, “To Eat or Not To Eat, That Is the Question – Use the Power of Personality Type to Make Healthy LIfestyle Decisions”.  This is where decision-making counts.  When you read the book, you’ll learn about the Z-Pattern of Decision-Making, a very useful tool for eating or any decision, for that matter.

To Eat or Not To Eat, That Is the Question - Use the Power of Personality Type and the Z-Pattern to Make Healthy Lifestyle Decisions by Roberta Schwartz Wennik, MS, RDN

The Z-Pattern forces one to be involved in the process of decision-making.


S = Sensing  (facts, details)
N = iNtuiting (possibilities, ideas)
T = Thinking (analysis, logic)
F = Feeling (harmony, tact)

Too often we make eating or exercise decisions based on habits, some of which aren’t always the healthiest.  To break into those habits and change them takes a conscious effort on our part.  That conscious effort is the process and using the Z-Pattern gives it some structure.  That should satisfy both Perceivers and Judgers!

If you’re a dominant iNtuitive, do you think you could live more in the moment or will the effort be only temporary?  If you’re a dominant Sensor, do you think you have the advantage?  Can you relate to the article, seeing the value of systems rather than goals?

2 thoughts on “An interesting take on goal-setting versus system setting -Living in the moment rather than in the future

  1. Both process and goal setting are important. Without following a good process you won’t make meaningful progress on a goal, but without having an end goal in mind/sight, we tend to end up busy doing what’s leading us nowhere.

    1. You sound like you must be an “NP”. Are you? I’m an iNtuitive and many times I realize that I’m not “stopping to smell the roses.” Yet, I believe that without having some “N” in you (BTW, we all do possess all of the preferences even though we favor only a few), where are you headed?

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