Why do we wait to do important things? Do we think there’s someone more capable or more qualified who should, or will, be fixing the problem?
Do we wait because the timing isn’t right? Once things settle down at work, then I’ll do it. Once the kids are out of diapers, then I’ll get started.
Few of the reasons (excuses) we tell ourselves are real or true. The truth is this- you can get better today. You’re the one for the job, no matter what that job may be.
I was listening to the Tim Ferris podcast and he was talking with the great Jack Kornfield. Jack shared a wonderful story about a woman who worked in housing services in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. She’d work eight-hour days and if she had a little more energy when she got home, she’d make sandwiches and go hand them out to the homeless. Eventually, word got around and she became somewhat of a celebrity. People started sending her envelopes of money, and she’d send them a one sentence response that said this, “Make your own damn sandwiches.”
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” While that’s become a cliche, it’s true. If your desire is to solve a big problem, or simply to get back in shape, I want to help you get better today.
Because the key to fixing a problem or changing your situation is incremental progress. And incremental progress can be made daily.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Getting 1% better
- The meaning of success
- Becoming more resilient
- Making it real
Let’s get started.
Getting 1% better
What if you could get 1% better everyday? Would that be meaningful to you? You might not notice it at the end of the first day, or even the first week, but what about three months later? What about three years later?
When I think about change in those terms, I get excited. That’s because I know my capacity to focus and to work hard. I know that even though everything didn’t go my way, that I did the little things I needed to get better and to improve. I know that in three years, I’ll wake up and my life will be completely different.
And in reality, isn’t that how it always works? Rarely do we get immediate results. We can’t lose 50lbs in a month anymore than we can learn a new language. Meaningful change takes time.
Or, I could give up. I could throw in the towel when I don’t see immediate results. Have you ever been guilty of this? I know I have.
Embracing incremental change and the grind which is required to execute is what it takes to get better today and everyday.
But we’ve forgotten to talk about an important step in the process.
The meaning of success
What does success mean to you? Have you ever asked yourself that question?
With everything you’re working to improve, you must define what success will be. If you don’t, how will you know when you achieve it? That’s where goals come in.
It took me until the age of 35 to start properly setting goals. Sure, I always had ideas about what I wanted, but I never took the time to write them down. Today, I’ve been thinking about and writing down my goals for 8 years, and I can testify to the value of doing so.
In service of helping you get clarity on yours, you can access our Goals course for free.
When thinking about goals, I focus on six key areas:
- Career and financial
- Personal development
- Peace of mind
Within each of these areas, spend time thinking about what specific things you want to accomplish. From there, we’ll talk about how to position yourself for success.
Becoming more resilient
If COVID taught me one thing, it’s that I need to become more resilient. I need to be physically, mentally, emotionally and financially stronger. I needed to fortify myself.
It’s not clear who originally said it, but one of my favorite quotes is, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” For me, this is the bullseye. I (we) need to stay ready. We need to consistently pursue excellence.
Depending on your starting point, it might take you an extended period of time to “get ready” and that’s ok. When going through your goals, I encourage you to put emphasis on making yourself stronger and more resilient in every area of your life.
When you commit to doing so, you’ll find getting 1% better every day is a lot easier. Not only that, but I think you’ll begin appreciating and maybe even enjoying the process.
Making it real
You can’t go from zero to 100, it won’t last. We’ve all experienced the Yo-Yo effect at some point; we get super excited about making a change, work really hard for a short amount of time, only to backslide and give back all our gains. This commonly happens with weight loss.
I want you to avoid this.
In order to get and stay ready, and to lock in your gains, the changes have to fit into your life. You need to find sustainable solutions that can become habits. Creating a personal SOP (standard operating procedure) can help you do this.
Your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)
- Checklists. One day, perhaps many of the things you need to be successful will be second nature. Until that day, make a checklist for everything that needs doing. For example, if you meal prep on Sundays for the week, make a checklist of all the ingredients and the process for making the meals.
- Calendar. What gets scheduled, gets done. If you don’t put all of your important activities into your calendar, they’ll get bumped by some other “emergency.” For example, schedule all of your important family activities from practices, to family dinners, to date night with your significant other.
- Automate. The more we can take our hands off the wheel, the better. For example, set up automatic payments for all of your bills, including credit cards. Set up recurring contributions for all of your saving and investment accounts.
- Delegate. Get a trainer, a coach, or join a mastermind. If there’s an area you lack in, find someone or something that can support you in your change.
When you create systems for yourself, you position yourself for success. I’m a giant fan of personal responsibility and self-discipline, and I also know those things take time. Until you get there, put structure in place for accountability.
I’m really glad you want to get better, and that you want to get better today. In service of helping you kick-start your transformation, I invite you to check out the Strive Online Bootcamp. It’s a two-week, virtual bootcamp designed to detox your mind, body and money. It might be just what you’re looking for.
Be the change you’re looking for!
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