systems vs goals

I don’t agree with everything Scott Adams (yes, the Dilbert guy) says, but I think he’s on to something with his Goals vs. Systems line of thinking (read more).

I don’t have a five year goal for my pistol shooting. I don’t even have a six month plan. Instead, I have devised a daily system for becoming a better pistol shooter.

“Intelligently shoot the maximum number of rounds my wallet can afford, every single day.”

I can afford to shoot 500 9mm reloads a month. That comes out to roughly 20 rounds per day. Might not seem like a lot, but 100 rounds a week is over 5,000 rounds per year.

Sure, EVERY day probably won’t happen. But work with me here.

What could I do with 20 rounds a day, fired with a focused intention to improve? How much better would my IDPA standings be? What sort of standards drills could I complete, and in what times?

This system will also get me into the habit of regularly going to the range. If I can’t make it out to shoot 20 rounds, how am I going to get out to shoot 500?

Conveniently, I think this rate will work well with my skills development. I spent around 30 minutes yesterday shooting my 20 round dot drill, once all the dry firing was factored in. I really think I improved.

More importantly, I think I know  why I improved.

Once my round counts can increase from a budgetary standpoint, I’ll likely have an above average grasp of the fundamentals. This should make ammo-guzzling bill drills and other exercises more effective than if I were trying them at my current level of skill.

A limited daily round count = I better make it count.

I know that range fees, time and travel to the range can add up fast. I’m fortunate that my circumstances work rather well with my system.

There are no daily fees at my club, a yearly membership is $40 for NRA members, and access is 12/7 via a combination-locked gate. It’s also right on the way home from work.

This little experiment would be way harder if I had to pay $15 daily for a crowded indoor shooting lane.


People set goals. But without a system, goals are pointless.

Will I be able to blog every day about shooting every day? I don’t know. That’s a goal. My SYSTEM isn’t to post 365 posts a year. It’s just to shoot one practice session today. One dry fire session today. One blog post today.



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