Better Today Than Yesterday
Are you better today than you were yesterday? How about last week, or last month? Are you better than you were last year?
There are those who have mastered the art of self-improvement. Many have succeeded where many haven’t. And the rest of us wonder, how did she get that amazing job, stay slim, and learn to speak Chinese? Or how did he write that book, keep a positive attitude every day for years, or afford to retire at 55?
If you haven’t mastered the art of self-improvement yet, it’s never too late to start! While there are many ways to get there, here are seven tips to get you started!
Believe That You Can!
Fear is the barrier to accomplishment. If anything stops you from being successful at accomplishing your goals, fear is likely to be high on the list of culprits. As Thomas S. Monson said,
Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other.
Choose to believe in yourself! If you have faith in yourself, there will be no room for fear!
Set Long-term, Short-term, and Bite-sized Goals
Setting long-term goals is the beginning of a healthy self-improvement routine. Set these goals as far into the future as you care to, as far as the end if you will!
Writing your own obituary is a good place to start. This practice will clue you into to what you truly hope to accomplish in your life. What accomplishments do you want enumerated at your funeral?
That may seem like a morbid thought, but it gives you an accurate view of where you truly want your life to lead.
Now, break those long-term goals down into short term goals. These goals should be reachable within the next year. These goals can be steps on your way to accomplishing your long-term goals. They can also be goals in and of themselves, such as planting a garden or saving up for a cruise.
Finally, break down those short-term goals into bite-size goals. What do you need to do every day to accomplish your short-term goals?
For example, if you’re goal is to maintain a healthy weight, then your daily goals could be to exercise for at least half an hour, cut sugar for the day, and drink eight cups of water.
Or if your goal is to finish up that degree in business, your daily goal could be to finish a paper, study for the exam, or read the next chapter in your finance textbook.
Track Your Goals
For many of us, a goal isn’t a goal if it’s not written down. I’ve tracked my long-term, short-term, and daily goals on paper for years. Every year I review my long-term goals then evaluate and adjust them as need.
I also review my short-term goals for the previous year and set new goals for the coming year. These goals are all written down with space to check of the goals as I accomplish them, whether they are a yearly goal or a monthly goal. I also keep a running list of goals that I work on weekly and daily.
Over the years I’ve learned not to agonize over the goals if I don’t meet them, I’m kind to myself! However, I still expect myself to put in my best effort on always improving at those life goals I’ve set.
This system has worked well for me! I’m satisfied with the self-improvements I’ve made over the last several years, and I have many more self-improvements that I’m currently working on. I know that I can successfully make changes, because I already have done so!
Work With a Buddy (Or Not)
Are you a social butterfly? Do you need that peer encouragement and camaraderie to push you forward and keep you on track?
Working with a partner engenders better results for many people than working solo does.
According to Brianna Stenhilber, in her article “The Health Benefits of Working Out With a Crowd,” one study found that 95 percent of those who started a weight-loss program with friends completed the program, compared to a 76 percent completion rate for those who worked on the program alone. The former group was also 42 percent more likely to maintain their weight loss.
That’s pretty convincing proof for the extroverts among us!
Granted, there is still a decent percentage of the population that will be successful solo. But if you’re one of the social butterflies, find a pal to work with as you move through your goals.
If you don’t make your goals happen, who will? If you’re forty-five years old and still not using your company’s retirement because “you don’t know anything about retirement,” who’s fault is that? Yours!
As Brian Tracey emphatically states in his article, “6 Qualities of Wildly Successful People,”
You’re the president of your own career, your own life, your own finances, your own body, your own family, your own health. You are totally responsible.
It doesn’t get any clearer than that! In fact, that’s a fantastic quote to print up and post where you can see it as you work on your self-improvement goals!
Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate
When you make a goal, you’re basing that goal on the point in life that you’re in while looking ahead to the future.
Life changes things.
If you made a goal when you were seventeen to graduate with a doctorate in astrophysics but at the age of twenty-one you’ve realized that you really hate astrophysics and would rather spend the rest of your life working as an electrician, than change your goal!
Goals are ultimately pliable.
Remember though, there is a fine line between changing a goal out of laziness and changing a goal because you’ve grown and realized that the old goal won’t bring your happiness or accomplishment like your younger self thought it would.
Another part of evaluating takes us back to step three. Write those goals down and regularly review them! Reviewing those goals allows you adjust them as needed.
For example, if you start an exercise routine and set a goal to be able to push out five hundred push-ups in the first month, you might find yourself adjusting that number after the first week to a more realistic twenty-five!
Evaluating your goals daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly holds you accountable to yourself and gives you a chance to remember the goals and to adjust them if needed.
Start Again Tomorrow
U.S. News reports that 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. While that statistic might discourage you, keep in mind that at least 20 percent of goals are successful.
So how do you make sure that you’re part of that 20 percent?
See the six previous steps for starters and be sure to start again tomorrow! Just because you failed today doesn’t mean you will fail tomorrow.
Start anew daily, and you’ll be well on your way to successfully improving yourself day by day, week by week, and year by year!