BETTER TODAY THAN YESTERDAY
What is the way to become world class at anything – speaking, writing, presenting, playing a sport, learning music, programming or any other skill ? Practice, more specifically deliberate practice where you measure your performance against a scale say the experts.
What if you can apply a simple method of deliberate practice in the areas of your life where you want to get to be world class.
Pick the area you want to excel in and become the best.
State a simple goal – Better today than yesterday. Everyday for a year I will strive to be better than yesterday. Say by a very modest 1%.
What will be the result if you can follow through with this simple commitment ?
Take running or walking as a simple example. Suppose you start today with a modest 1 kilometere run or walk. Not very hard for most of us – we do this in the course of the day. We do it and we record it. Then everyday for a year our goal is to improve this by just a humble 1% everyday – so on day 2 it is 1010 meters, a mere 10 meters more and so on.
By the time you reach the end of the year you will be easily running half marathons and be on the verge of becoming a full long distance marathon runner ! Just by doing 1% better everyday.
Suppose you want to write. Start with a simple paragraph of 50 words on any topic of your choice. This is less than what you typically write in an email ! Not hard to do. Then everyday aim to do 1% more and better.
By the end of the year you will be able to finish a short story a day and a novel every month. Becoming a published author will not be far away.
At work pick areas where you want to develop your expertise and aim to learn and then implement your learnings everyday. Aim to be 1% better. How can you measure if you are indeed 1% better – set some simple output metrics on presentations made, analysis done etc. You can also ask your bosses or colleagues for feedback as well and score yourself.
You can also take goals on productivity – everyday I will be 1% better at managing my time and hence will measure the time in spent on leisure / watching tv or browsing online and aim to be better.
Eating – I will aim everyday to be a bit better than yesterday on what I eat, when I eat and how I eat.
Record these changes in a diary until they become a permanent habit for you.
There will be days that you may miss your commitment. There may be days you do not improve. Do not despair. The next day get back onto the improvement train and keep going.
Get better today than you were yesterday. In a year you will be a changed person. In a decade you will change the world.