I have this belief that the only way to make a large change in ourselves is to take action on it daily. Our lives and selves are the culmination of all of our habits. Our habits are simply the things that we do on a regular basis. To change ourselves means to simply change our habits. So we need to make a new action a daily habit to help ourselves.
Or, said in one sentence:
If you want to improve. Do one small thing, every day.
I’ve used this approach before.
This is how I approached fitness. When I was just getting started, I was overweight, depressed, unmotivated. I decided something had to change. I knew what I needed to do from all the cliches (synonym for “something that works”). I had to eat better and exercise more.
To eat better, I needed to know what I was eating. So, I simply tracked everything I ate for a day. Then again the next day, and the next. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t 100% accurate, what mattered was that I doing something.
Exercising was the easy part. The habit was the activity, so I went to the gym that afternoon, and did a couple exercises. The next day, I went for my first run in months. Then I did a yoga class. Then back to the gym the next day.
It didn’t take long before I noticed a difference. Not only from the obvious actions (working out and seeing how much I was eating). My behaviour, and thoughts. I was becoming interested in picking out workout plans that made sense to me. I became more active throughout the day. I started to think about the food I was eating.
Within 3 months, I had gone from a self-conscious about my weight to having friends and strangers come up to me to ask about exercise. I had become an “expert” on the topic by simply immersing myself in it.
This isn’t a fitness article, so I’ll cut myself short. However, the gist of all of this is this: By taking just a few small actions, every day, I became someone I previously could have only dreamed of being. It literally transformed me for the better.
Now, I am taking this approach to writing.
I want to be a better writer.
I’ve always been interested in writing. As a kid, I would read endlessly. I found that any good book – fiction or nonfiction – you are placed in the perspective of another person. You see things through their eyes. You understand, as well as anyone can, how they perceive the situation.
This is the power of story-telling. It is the most powerful method of communication.
We’re all story-tellers, in some regard. But only some of us are great storytellers.
I want to become a great storyteller. And the best way to do so?
Tell one story, every day.
Now, this would make me a storyteller, but it alone, won’t make me a great on. In order to do this, I need one extra addition:
Social pressure to excel
It takes pressure to ensure success. When I was seeking fitness, I could measure my weight, body fat percentage, the amount I could lift, and even just how I looked. Storytelling, on the other hand, is something that requires to parties: the person telling the story, and the person being told.
This is why I will be sharing each story to my blog. If I don’t share, I’m not a true storyteller.
You’ll be damned sure that when I publish each of these, I’m going to feel that resistance, that fear, but I’ll push through it. I’ll post it and I’ll see.
If I didn’t do well enough this time around, I’ll just learn and improve tomorrow.
This is why doing one thing, every day, works.
- Doing something every day means there’s always a chance to improve the next time.
- Doing something every day gives a consistent opportunity for feedback and learning.
- Doing something every day provides a real measure of progress.
So, I hope you enjoy reading my upcoming stories of my travelling. (And if you find something you think I could improve, send me an email, or a message so I can fix it!)