“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” — Samuel Johnson.
So often, we convince ourselves that change is only meaningful if there is some significant, visible outcome associated with it. Whether losing weight, building a business, traveling the world, or any other goal, we often pressure ourselves to make some earth-shattering improvement that everyone will talk about.
We usually set a big goal and take giant leaps to accomplish the goal in as little time as possible, but it often ends in burnout, frustration, and failure. Instead, we should focus on continuous improvement by slowly and slightly adjusting our everyday habits and behaviors.
So, let’s check 3 steps you can take right now to start focusing on continuous improvement.
1- Do more of what already works
Progress often hides behind boring solutions and underused insights. We assume that new solutions are needed to make real progress, but that isn’t always the case.
You just need to do more of what already works. In other words, you don’t need more information, and you don’t need a better strategy. You just need to do more of what already works.
2- Avoid tiny losses
In many cases, improvement is not about doing more things right but about doing fewer things wrong: eliminating mistakes, reducing complexity, and stripping away the inessential.
Here are some examples:
Investing: Never lose money; limit your risk.
Web Design: Remove the on-page elements that distract visitors.
Exercise: Miss fewer workouts.
Nutrition: Eat fewer unhealthy foods.
It is often easier to improve your performance by cutting the downside rather than capturing the upside in the real world, and subtraction is more practical than addition.
3- Measure backward
This means you make decisions based on what has already happened, not on what you want to happen.
Here are a few examples:
Weight Loss: measure your calorie intake. Did you eat 3,500 calories per day last week? Focus on an average of 3,400 per day this week.
Strength Training: you squatted 250 pounds for 5 sets of 5 reps last week? Give 255 pounds a try this week.
Entrepreneurship: you only landed two clients last week, while your average is five? It sounds like you should be focused on making more sales calls this week.
With this method, you are constantly looking to improve, but you base your choices on what has recently happened, not on what you hope will happen in the future.
WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣
Stagnation: the state of not flowing or moving.
Method: a particular procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one.
Inessential: not necessary.
PHRASAL VERBS ✍
Get better: to become better.
Work on: trying to improve something.
Make better: help something increase, improve, or become more successful.
Leaps and bounds: rapidly, or in fast progress.
Get the hang of something: learn the skills needed to do (something).
Kick the habit: stop doing something harmful that you have done for a long time.
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