Life can be challenging. There are all kinds of things that zap the energy we need not only to make ourselves better, but just to maintain. If you find yourself asking “how do I improve myself” with everything else that’s going on in your life, I have some answers.
It’s easier than you think.
The Need for Big Change
I told myself I never wanted to be a writer. The more I read on success, the more people said I needed to write, blog, and publish. I just never saw that being me.
And yet today I’ve written a million words, 5 books, and approaching 2,000 blog posts on well over half a dozen sites.
Here’s the thing: none of it was scary. None of it was hard. Sure, it took work, but work that you enjoy is a good thing, right?
So how did I do it? How did I improve myself? By following three simple steps.
The Habit, not the Result
If you want to improve yourself, the first thing you need to focus on is creating the habit, not the result. If you think about writing a book, it seems daunting, particularly if you don’t write. You don’t know where to start or what exactly is required, and you just don’t want to begin.
When you ask “how do I improve myself” focus on the habit and not the result.
If you focus instead on the habit of writing, it’s a lot easier. Don’t focus on writing a book; focus on becoming a writer. Write a paragraph a day, which brings us to our second step.
Make the Habit Small
If you’ve never written before and I tell you to write a page a day, what’s your reaction? If you’re like most people it may seem a little much or it might seem annoying, but doable.
However, if you’re like most people, after a few days, when you think about writing a page for the day, it becomes a chore*. You avoid it. You don’t want to do it.
A better approach is to make the habit small – so small that you don’t have any problem doing it. Again, the focus is on building the habit, not the result. Focus on doing a paragraph a day. If that seems like too much, focus on doing a sentence. If that’s too much, focus on simply opening a document you can write in each day.
More than likely you will write and quite possibly more than you expected, but this is not the goal. The goal is only to build the habit, which is why you need to do the last step.
Do it Every Day
Do the habit every day without fail. This is how habits are not only built, but become part of your identity. If you write every day for two years, aren’t you a writer? Doesn’t a writer write? Your habit will define you and that definition will make you into what you want to be.
When you ask “how do I improve myself,” the answer is “everyday”.
As the habit becomes simply a part of who you are, it becomes more natural and more pronounced. I currently write about an hour each day, creating a blog post as well as other various writings. It’s not a chore; It’s simply who I am.
If you find yourself asking “how do I improve myself” no matter how little time you have, the answer is simple: focus on the habit, not the result, make the habit small enough to make it imminently doable, and do it every day. You will not only create a new habit, you will create a new you.
* Bonus: turn chores into fun activities.