Do you strive to be more and to do more? Want to be a better spouse, parent, friend, employee, leader?
I believe that every single human being can improve themselves by asking these three questions every day:
Where do I want to be 1 year from now?
What will it take to get there?
What can I do TODAY that will get me one step closer to my goal?
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE 1 YEAR FROM NOW?
The answer to this question is the first step in improving yourself. Without a direction, a vision for your future, you will find yourself wandering aimlessly through life. A ship will not survive very long that simply floats around in the sea. Eventually that ship will be tossed around and shipwrecked by the storms of life.
It’s also naive to think that you can go through life aimlessly and that you will never encounter rough waters. If you want more from any area of your life, you must set a destination. You must have a target. Zig Ziglar says it best, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Chose your destination. Set your aim.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET THERE?
There is only one way to improve your life: you must do something different today than you did yesterday. If you want to lose ten pounds, you have to either exercise more or eat fewer calories. Simply saying “I want to lose ten pounds” will not reduce your belt size.
Do you remember that Olympic athlete that won the gold medal and during the post-competition interview he said, “I’m not really sure how I got here. I was just walking down the street one day and now here I am: an Olympic champion.”? Did you see that interview? Of course not, because it doesn’t happen that way. That athlete laid out a plan several years ago that got them to a higher level athletically.
People who have great marriages have a plan to get there. Successful companies don’t get to the top without a plan. Raising kids who become great adults takes a plan. Once you have determined the desired destination in any area of your life, you must have a plan to get there. Life’s too short to live without intentionality.
WHAT CAN I DO TODAY THAT WILL GET ME ONE STEP CLOSER TO MY GOAL?
How do you eat an elephant? The answer: one bite at a time. The same is true for any lofty goal. Goals are achieved one day at a time. Whether it is a one-year goal or a ten-year goal, the only way to improve yourself is to take one small step TODAY that will get you closer to that goal.
A marathon is 26.2 miles long. It takes 55,000 steps to complete this kind of race. The most important step in a marathon is the first one. After that step, the next most important step is the second step. Repeat this process 55,000 times and you will find yourself at the finish line.
Too often, we don’t even take the first step. Once you know where you want to be one year from now and once you have determined the path to get there, take one small action each day that will get you closer to the finish line. Even if you don’t complete the race, you’ll still be further than the person who didn’t take the first step: who failed to take action.
Want to be a better leader? Read something on leadership, listen to a leadership podcast, watch a YouTube video on leadership TODAY. Want to have a better relationship with your spouse? Make reservations for a date night, spend 30 minutes alone with your spouse with no phones and no kids, or read something on marriage TODAY. Want to have more money one year from now? Do a budget, open a savings account, or listen to a podcast on improving your finances TODAY.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter so much WHAT you do; it simply matters that you DO SOMETHING. Go to bed tonight knowing that you took one action that got you closer to your goal. Do that each day, and at the end of the week, you will have improved your life seven times. Take action each day for a month and you’ll have improved your life thirty times.
Your life will be the result of the actions you take on a daily basis. Take action on the course that you laid out that will get you where you want to be, 1-year from now, 5-years from now, or 10-years from now.
Each day, ask yourself: where do I want to be one year from now, how do I get there, and what can I do TODAY that will get me one step closer to my goal?