Small Incremental Steps Is Still Progress
Look at each day as an opportunity to learn from the past and take the experience and the wisdom that is gained and apply it to achieve progress.
Sometimes we have this great idea and we get super excited about it. So excited, that we want it right now. If you are anything like me, you always need to pull back the reigns and slow things down. I do that by reminding myself that there is a process to everything in this life.
If we want to gain the best that life can offer us, we need to understand that great things take time to build.
Looking for shortcuts and speedways only brings trouble. I have found that the best way to achieve progress is simply focusing on getting 1% better every day.
The more present we can be within our lives and the more aware we can be throughout our days, the more we can begin to see that life is all about progression. Life is all about figuring out what it is that you want out of it and then focusing each day on moving the needle in the direction you choose.
Here Are 28 Great Ways To Achieve Progress In Your Life Starting Today:
1. Wake Up Early
Waking up early can become extremely valuable to your overall productivity levels. If we sleep in, we cut our day short. Unless, you are staying up late of course. You can argue that point. However, I have done both and waking up early always trumps sleeping in and staying up late. It just does.
Not only does waking up early help you to add more time within your day, but it is also a great way to forge some self-discipline. As humans we are hard wired to move away from difficult things and venture off towards the land of laziness and sloth-like behaviors. Nobody wants to be waking up earlier than they need to, I get that. But, if you are looking for an edge, this is a great way to get it and see the progress.
2. Read Daily
Reading daily is something that all of us should be doing on a daily basis. We all know that by reading we can learn new things. Reading allows for us to take in new information, retain it and then apply it into our everyday lives.
Reading daily also has a few other benefits to go along with the knowledge piece. By reading daily we get to sharpen our mind and our imaginations. We get to cultivate self-discipline by creating times within our day to read consistently. In addition to all of that, we can pump positivity with words into our brains on a daily basis, which translates into food for your brain.
3. Healthy Eating
The food that we sustain ourselves with is the fuel that will help us get from where we are right now, to the destination we desire.
If we fuel ourselves with low quality fuel, our vehicle will encounter unnecessary difficulty.
If you have ever been riding bike against strong wind, then this is what poor eating feels like throughout your day. You are trying your hardest to move but the strong wind (poor nutrition) is just pushing against you.
Being conscious of the foods that we put into our bodies is vital, however how much food we take in is just as important if not more important.
Consuming poor quality foods will not just slow you down energy wise, too much low quality food and even high quality foods will also pack on the pounds.
I believe the key to healthy eating is largely based off of education. The more you learn and grow, the more you can apply with intention over time.
4. Love Yourself By Exercising First Thing In The Morning
Embarking on a fitness journey and incorporating consistent exercise into your life is not some walk in the park. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. The fact of the matter is that building the habit of consistent exercise is something that requires dedication, planning and self-awareness.
If you really care and love yourself, then I would suggest that you make peace with the fact that exercise is now just a block of time within your day, that must get done. There is NO option. The best way that I have found to stay consistent with this, is to wake up early and knock out your workout first thing in the morning.
Exercise and movement require energy, it requires brain power and sheer will. There is no better time than first thing in the morning to access all of that brain power and ensure yourself that there is plenty to go around.
First thing in the morning, your body is coming out of a primed state of relaxation and recovery. The mind is clear and sharp (after a cup of coffee, of course😂) and you have the energy to go and attack what most would call the most difficult task within their day.
5. Judge Less
As a society, I believe that we need to judge less and seek more understanding. Instead of passing judgement on those around you, try to seek understanding.
Try to spend more time listening, and less time talking. The more we can understand one another, and the better we can communicate with one another, the better we can become as a society of humans.
Seeking more understanding opens up a perspective that maybe you couldn’t pick up before. Maybe, if you spend more time seeking understanding and listening, you learn something new. Something that could possibly change the whole trajectory of your life. You never know.
This can only take place if we step back and stop judging one another. Instead seek more understanding.
6. Find Your True Self And Build Off Of That
I can say that for me personally, my life has been unfolding in front of me these past couple of years. A growth that is unlike any other point in my life. Part of that development has been due to the fact that I have found my true-self and I am using that as my starting point.
In life, people make it seem like we are in some rush, like time is running out and we need to act quick, if not we will regret everything in our lives and just die with nothing.
I believe that part of this type of thinking is due to people acting and working off of something other than their truth.
We are all different. There is a reason as to why we need such diversity within our existence. Our job and our purpose in life, is to find out who we really are. That is what I believe this whole life journey is all about. It’s figuring out who your true self is, and then using that as a starting point to build off of.
In doing so, I believe that we can be of service to the rest of the world.
Until you take the time to figure out who you really are, and not what someone else expects you to be, you are going to spend unnecessary time and energy into something that was not meant for you to begin with.
7. Set Goals
Every person should have a list of detailed goals that they want to accomplish.
I hear people saying that they know in their minds what it is that they want, but that is not enough. In order to reach your goals, you must understand them, you must know what is driving you—why it’s important to you.
Setting a random goal is not going to do you any good. From my experience, setting empty goals for myself just created moments of failure. Not the failure that helped me to grow and get better—no. It was the type of failure that just tore me down. I couldn’t figure out what it was that I was doing wrong.
It wasn’t until I realized that I was not fully committed to my goals, that I understood my process of setting goals was broken.
Today, I take my time before I set a personal goal for myself. And you should too.
Set goals with intention, with a full understanding of what and why you are doing it to begin with.
8. Plan Your Day
Take time to plan your day. We all have so many things that we are working on, yet nobody takes time to plan things out accordingly.
Learn to block out some time each evening to plan out the details for your following day. This doesn’t require more than 10 minutes of your time and it can bring immense value when executed consistently over time.
You will notice that the things that once took you forever to get around to doing, are now being done efficiently and consistently. Now, you are moving with purpose and once you begin to move with such intention, the beautiful things in life begin to unfold.
9. Work On Your Attitude
Attitude can pretty much determine how far you will go in your life.
Your attitude is the reflection of who you are and how you view yourself. If you have a positive good attitude towards your life, this reflects that you are happy with yourself and who you are.
If your attitude is lousy, then you have some internal reflections and confrontations that need to take place. There are things brewing within you that require your attention and time.
Work to have an attitude of constant improvement. Understand that we are so malleable and we can really learn to do anything we want. Believe enough within yourself that you have what it takes to become your best self and your best self is what then translates towards you helping other people.
10. Move With Purpose
If we go “chase” things that at the end of the day provide no serious fulfillment to our lives, then we are going to waste years, and years of our lives, only to figure out in the end, that what you are chasing was never really it.
I believe we should all be more conscious and self-aware. Constantly asking ourselves questions to find the truth within ourselves that provide our true fulfillment. The only way to do this is to move with purpose. Sign up for things that mean something to you.
Strive to achieve a level of success and progress within your own life even if people cannot see your vision.
People can have the best intention of rooting for you to achieve something that may or may not align with your purpose. This is where it is crucial for you to believe in yourself enough, to a point where you know what it is that you want out of your life and you are willing to get there alone if you have to. Stay the course, regardless of what those may say or criticize about the path you choose to take.
11. Seek Inspiration
True inspiration is found in productivity. The more productive you become and the more you begin to progress, the more inspiration your mind can identify with.
We cannot find and see inspiration with a depressed mind or in a depressed state.
When we are down, the mind does not recognize the beautiful things in life. It only see’s the darkness.
The best way to pull yourself out of those moments where you cannot seem to find inspiration if it smacks you in the face, is to move towards gratitude.
Gratitude is the most powerful human emotion.
Thinking about all of the things you are grateful for in your life one by one can pull you out of a depressed state immediately.
If you don’t believe me, try it next time you find yourself in the dumps.
Start by going over all of the things that are beautiful within your life and that you are grateful for.
You can quickly feel the weight lift off your shoulders because of the shift towards gratitude. The more you practice this you will begin to see the power that gratitude provides.
Inspiration is found within the accomplishments of your day-to-day activities. If you can’t find it, then you need to step up your game and try harder.
12. Believe In Help & Helping Others
Pride will destroy your life. It will keep you right where it wants you in life—stagnant. There are too many people out there who refuse to accept a helping hand or refuse to help others.
Don’t fall into this category. Believing in help is something that is necessary for our survival. The more people that we can help in a positive, productive way, the better we become as a species. It is when people begin to veer from this mindset that we suffer.
We were put on this planet to make it just one percent better than when we got here. Always make sure you stay on the side where you are using your powers to help and empower others.
13. Save Money
Such a simple piece of advice yet, we fall victim to the marketing that is being dumped down our throats to take our hard earned money in exchange for something that makes us no income and most likely depreciates in a year.
If you are out there working, please, save your money. What must go to bills, well, must go to bills. But that extra, no matter how small it is—save it and later invest it!
Creating a savings account that is not connected to your primary bank can be an excellent idea to help you save money.
When it comes to money, if we don’t see it, well, it kind of doesn’t exist. We tend to forget about it and go based off of what we see within our primary accounts. After a short while, that savings account at a random bank begins to fade from your memory.
Saving money is also valuable for future financial emergencies. Financial emergencies take place all of the time.
Do yourself a favor and build a savings account that you can fall back on if something drastic was to take place within your financial picture.
14. Automate As Much As You Can Within Your Life
With the technology available today, we are able to automate so many things within our day-to-day routine. This enables us to spend more time on other things that require more of our time and energy.
For example: you can automate groceries today, something you could not do with total efficiency and trust that you are going to receive what you ordered and on time. While this does come with a price, it can free up so much time. The same goes for pet food and other perishables that would require for you to get in a car and take time out of your day to get these things accomplished.
Another great idea is to invest into electronic vacuums and mops. These robots can go around sweeping and mopping your home without your need of attention and time. While your home is being cleaned, you can spend your now free time, on something else.
The same goes for text messages, emails and news. All of these things with some careful planning can be set up for automation and can free up some precious time for you to work on other tasks.
15. Create A Budget And Review It Weekly
If there is one piece of financial advice that I can provide to anyone who is reading this right here, is to create a budget and review it weekly.
Working for years within the financial industry, I saw people who struggled financially. Most of the people who struggled, wasn’t because of some terrible scenario that took place out of their control. No, it was all because they were spending money blindly, with no plan whatsoever, and if you would ask them when do they go over their finances, well they would just laugh. But, it is not funny!
People fail here simply because of a lack of knowledge. Surprisingly enough, they just don’t know any better. If you are not well versed in the personal finance space, don’t worry. All you have to do is take time to educate yourself as much as possible on your free time and within a few months you will have leveled up your knowledge.
16. Always Seek To Fail Fast
Failure is made out to be this monster that people are afraid of and try dearly to avoid. In reality, failure should be seen as a good thing.
Because it means one, you are trying something that is challenging and two, it is one of the best catalysts for personal growth.
The problem is that we are conditioned by society to avoid and fear failure overall. This leads us to miss out on all of the things we were originally built to do, all because of fear of failure.
Fear is natural, but I personally believe on the other side of fear is where the most rewarding parts of life are stored. It’s our job to build ourselves up to a point of confidence and self-worth, where we are willing to climb the wall of fear and see for ourselves what lies beneath the fears of reaching and achieving our destiny.
Don’t look at failure as a bad thing. Does it suck? Yeah, no doubt. But, within failure there is such a special teaching that you will never be able to find anywhere else. Those answers and reflections lie within the teachings and wisdoms that are extracted through the process of failure.
17. Take On A Hobby Or 2
Sometimes the reason we lack productivity in our lives has a-lot to do with us having too much time on our hands. Challenging ourselves is never easy, it requires effort, work and dedication. Which is why if we are not careful we can easily end up becoming complacent.
The thought of having to take on something else just makes us want to run in the other direction. However, a hobby or two can help you distract your mind, work on building new transferable skills and it can help you pass your time with efficiency and purpose.
Incorporating hobbies helps you to pass time in a productive fashion. Working on a hobby can help someone on a therapeutic level as well as help create progress on whatever you choose to pick up. As time passes and you stay dedicated and consistent, you will generate a result.
If you position yourself properly a hobby can bring big benefits to your life.
18. Learn About Investing Your Money
Growing up, I heard people talking about investments and big financial lingo that I couldn’t keep up with. It was a bit intimidating. I would steer clear of that path because it wasn’t something I was ever educated on.
Working within the financial industry, I learned a thing or two. One of those things, is the fact that if you educate yourself on money, you can control your trajectory better.
Knowing how to manage your funds and how to create investment opportunities is key. If you open your mind and your world to understanding money better, you can create some really nice results over time.
The key is understanding that it all takes time. If you are willing to be patient you can accomplish a-lot and see investments grow in the way they are intended.
The key is thinking in terms of years.
Journaling can be a life changing habit if used properly and consistently. I believe the human mind is extremely powerful and I sometimes think that we have this ceiling, this cap, that we have created within ourselves. That “ceiling” is a figment of our imagination. It is something that we put there, but if you push hard enough you can surpass that glass ceiling.
Journaling provides a different type of access within your mind. You are able to connect with yourself on a completely next level experience. Can this be achieved other ways? Most likely. However, from my personal experience, this is the way that I found the connection that I am trying to convey.
Journaling brings about an understanding of where you truly are within your day, or your life and you can begin to put the pieces together of what you need to do in order to get to where you want to go.
There is great power in meditation if you can consistently apply it as part of your day. There are different methods and types of meditation. Take some time to learn more about this practice and take that new knowledge and apply it to a specific point(s) in your day where you feel you could use a quick re-charge.
A great way to start your introduction to meditation, is to sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Any time you mind wanders away from the focus on your breathing, bring it back to the point of focusing solely on your breathing. This is a very basic introduction to meditation, but one of the most effective.
The key to meditation is the consistency.
21. Find A Mentor
One mentor is all it took to change my life forever. If you have never had the opportunity to seek a mentor (because you do have to seek one) I would suggest you give it some energy. Put some time into thinking who you could see being a mentor to you. What type of similar interests and knowledge does someone have that you know they are far beyond your level.
Reach out to that person, and see if you can occupy some of their time each day or week or month. Try to make things as easy and convenient for them and demonstrate that you are willing to take on the missions and the hours in traffic.
I used to drive 1 hour to go see my mentor. I can tell you it was inconvenient for me, but totally worth the time invested. Mental gems that I absorbed from my mentor are things that I can never let go. The principles and knowledge that I absorbed was well worth any possible personal inconvenience.
22. Be Intentional With Your Time
There are aspects of life that I believe we need to pay more attention to. One of those, is the importance of time.
Time is more valuable than anything else you have in your life, other than your health. The way we use our time predicts where we will end up 5-10 years from now. Think about that for a minute…
We only have so much time to dedicate to the things we need to be doing within our lives. Splitting up your time accordingly is the only factor that is going to ensure you that you meet all of your priorities.
If you find yourself just waking up and going through the motions of life, without too much attention to detail towards the things that truly matter at the end of the day, then I would start by looking at how you are spending your time overall.
23. Learn To Think Big
Life is way to short to have mediocre thoughts and dreams. Whatever you want out of life 10X that.
Learn to take what you are envisioning within your mind and really take it to the next level.
Thinking big will increase what you think is possible and therefore, it will demand more out of you.
Because you are thinking on a grander scale, you will now need to work more, read more, take longer and will require for you to stay focused.
Nothing wrong with that. Don’t look for shortcuts as all they will do is set you back, it’s only a matter of time.
24. Go One More
I have failed at many things in my life and my successes purely stem from willing to go one more.
Go one more mile, go one more time, take one more shot at it. I have learned that if you can have a go one more mentality, you will really start to stack up a lot more success than failure.
There is nothing wrong with failure. In fact, I feel like failure is an indicator that you are moving in the right direction.
At the same time, failure is tough and you have to be tough as well in order to move past it.
Don’t let your failures and your attempts define you. Get up, dust off and go one more.
25. Spend Money Wisely
Marketing these days is no joke. You can end up spending so much money that you didn’t have to. Or better yet, money that shouldn’t have spent in the first place. Today, there is so much access to products like never before and it does not help that we are total consumers.
Try not to consume too much. Take an active approach to your spending habits. They don’t just correct themselves. You can hope all you want that things turn around for you financially, but the truth is that if you don’t sit down, search for the problems, correct them and hold the line for years, you will dig yourself into a deep hole.
Debt is one hole that you should not want to be in. There are way too many people today that are carrying unnecessary debt. This is caused by mindless spending with no budget in sight.
26. Educate Yourself
We have information accessible at the touch of a button today. Arguments are even stirring today, as to whether or not college is something someone should pursue. Trade skills are becoming more and more popular. Employers aren’t so concerned if you received a college education or not.
While a college education is something everyone should consider, you don’t need one to educate yourself. Take time to learn more about the things that you find valuable within your own life.
Check to see what certifications and licenses are available to go after, and also take time to educate yourself within your given field.
Just because you work in a field, does not mean that you should slow down your learning—no matter how experienced you are.
27. Demonstrate Ambition Within All That You Do
If your dream is to be a teacher, then make sure you strive each day towards becoming the best teacher you possibly can become.
Always demonstrate ambition within all of the things you do. Don’t settle to be just a secretary, strive to become the best secretary anyone has ever seen. If you want to become a doctor, then strive to learn as much as you can and be the best doctor that you can be.
Ambition is something that is healthy, and everyone has it. If you feel like you are “not an ambitious person”, it’s only because you still haven’t found your true purpose just yet—and that is okay.
We have our whole lives to find our purpose and what really drives us as a person.
The important thing is to make sure that you are in a position within your life where you are searching for that answer.
28. Master The Concept of “Starting”
In our home, we like to read a lot of books. It’s a great habit that we all incorporate into our days. Reading is all about finding topics that you love and learning more about them. At least that is how we look at reading in our home.
Reading is a fundamental necessity in our day-to-day lives and the more we can practice and improve on it, the better for us later down the line.
If there is one thing I have learned, is that we can absorb all of the knowledge and skills that we want, but if we do not have the self-discipline to START new things, then we will never reach the full potential that we have access to.
I wrote a piece on The Power Of Starting. If you haven’t read it yet, click the link and check it out. I think it is worth the read and it goes in depth on understanding the power of starting new things.
Don’t be a theorist—become the practitioner.