Friday, January 24, 2020

For Massive Improvement, Force Yourself to Take Daily Action

When is the last time you achieved one of your big goals - something you really had to work for? For me, it was completing the 2017 Glass City Half Marathon. In just 3 months, I went from not being a runner at all, to finishing a half marathon in just over 2 hours.

When you have a big goal, you have to put in the work toward it every day, whether you like it or not. There is an old saying that says "find something you love to do, and you'll never work another day in your life". I heard that all the time from my Dad growing up. It's a nice thought, but there is a fundamental problem with it - there is no truth to that statement.

Whatever you're trying to achieve, there will be work involved. The bigger the goal, the harder that you're going to have to work. Even if you really love what you're doing, there are going to be certain parts of it (or even days) that you just don't feel like working on your goal. In those times, it will most definitely feel like work.

The fastest way to improvement

When your goal gets hard (and it will), the fastest way to improvement is to power through. From my experience in training for the half marathon, the biggest gains were earned on the days when I didn't feel like running. That's because there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that you pushed through and got it done, even when you didn't feel like it. 

You proved to yourself that you can accomplish hard tasks, even when you didn't want to work at all. It's a mental victory, and those are far more important than the physical victories.

Whatever you're trying to accomplish in life, make it a goal - force yourself if you have to - to take specific action toward that goal every day.

For example, this is probably the 97th time I've restarted this blog. Typically, I will write for about 2-4 days, and then just quit. In fact, the last time I restarted, I wrote a welcome post and then apparently just quit. I want to write, but don't know what to say. Instead of writing until I figure it out, I've given up.

Forcing yourself to take action will turn it into a habit. So, until the end of September, I'm going to write a blog post every single day. At that time, I'll re-evaluate to see if that's still the frequency that I want to post, but until then, I'll be taking that action every single day. It's the only way the writing will every improve.

I challenge you to figure out what your goals are, and then find a way to take action on them every single day. 

Let me know in the comments what you're going to be working on. I'd love to hear about it.