Master the art of continual self-improvement.
“Each person’s task in life is to become an increasingly better person.” — Leo Tolstoy
How do we become better every single day?
We develop practices that will help move us incrementally forward. Small steps, taken consistently. This is the path to a good life.
The idea is to take small but consistent steps, every single day — 1% improvement.
“Success is not a destination. Success is a decision you make on a daily, hourly, and even moment-to-moment basis.” — Nicolas Cole
Epictetus called this incremental action “fueling the habit bonfire.”
Focus on the following 5 practices, and you will begin to see consistent improvement in your life.
1. Walk More
Moving your body is crucial.
And walking may be the most important way to move our bodies. Think of how our ancestors lived — constantly foraging, hunting, and walking everywhere. This is how we have evolved to live.
If we want to improve ourselves, we need to take care of our bodies.
Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, author of Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life, explains this well:
“Through exercise and movement, you breathe deeply and unblock the body’s channels…. It gives you energy, mental clarity, passion, and a general enthusiasm for life…. When you breathe deeply, you connect your heart and your brain instantly…. Conscious exercise puts your daily problems on the back burner and enlivens the heart and mind.… While it’s tempting to think of exercise solely as a means to fitness or weight loss, it’s really much more about making you feel alive in your body.”
Movement is therefore a tool to help you grow and move forward every single day.
Your body will stay healthy, your mind will remain clear, you will have deeper access into who you are and improved clarity on where it is you want to go.
We can’t expect to continue growing and moving forward if we don’t take care of our body and mind. Move every single day.
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“Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning…. It is common for the world’s most successful people to read at least one book per week. They are constantly learning.” — Benjamin Hardy, How to Consciously Design Your Ideal Future
How often do you read?
Hopefully, you make time to read every single day. Even if it’s just one page.
Reading may be the most accessible tool available to us to help us grow. We can learn from anyone in the world, living or not. We can learn from those who have already achieved what we want to achieve. We can learn from others’ successes and mistakes.
Being a perpetual student is key to moving forward. If you’re not constantly learning, how will you grow?
Make reading a priority in your day. Spend 15 minutes in the morning reading a book. Download an audiobook for your commute. Read an article online during your lunch break. Just find the time to read.
3. Eat Well
We must always take care of our bodies.
Without a body, we can not achieve anything. Your health must always come first. Running yourself into the ground will achieve nothing.
Make sure you make the time to eat nourishing foods, and make sure you’re eating enough. Our bodies need fuel — good quality fuel:
Eat adequate protein (aim for 30g each meal)
Eat loads of plants — vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds
Drink coffee — it’s full of antioxidants (drink decaf if you don’t like caffeine, or black or green teas which have a smaller amount of caffeine)
Avoid processed and refined foods
Only eat what our cavemen ancestors would recognize
While I know we’ve all heard we should meditate, I truly believe it is key to moving forward every single day.
Meditation provides stillness. It’s time alone with your breath and your body. It’s time to get to know yourself, to be aware of what is going on inside of you — both mentally and physically.
Having this self-awareness is the first step toward growth. If you don’t know yourself, how can you expect to make meaningful progress?
Develop a regular meditation practice by following these 4 steps:
Start small: Aim for 5 minutes, or even just one minute if you think that’s all you can commit to. The idea is to commit to a length of time you can do consistently — ideally every single day.
Decide on a time of day to practice: Deciding on a time and doing your meditation at the same time each day makes it much more likely you’ll do it consistently.
Commit to this practice: While each session of meditation does produce benefits on its own, the real magic of meditation comes from consistent practice, and compounds over time.
Utilize supports: There are so many ways to support your practice. One of the most accessible supports is a meditation app. While using an app may not seem like “traditional” meditation, it can be incredibly helpful, especially when you’re starting out.
Read also: Every day habbits that harm your brain
We must always be reflecting on our lives and measuring our most important metrics.
With reflection, we can achieve anything. You try something, reflect on it, do more of what worked and less of what didn’t.
This is how you will grow.
A great way to do this is by bookending the day with journaling, as illustrated above. In the morning, write your plan for the day. In the evening, reflect on what worked and what you will do differently tomorrow. In just a few minutes each day, you can massively change your life for the better.
Do this at the end of each week, month, quarter, and year. Growth will become inevitable.
“End your week holding a five-minute meeting with yourself and review what’s working and everything making you miserable. And do more of what works.” — Thomas Oppong
Similarly, keep track of the most important metrics of your life — how much weight you’re squatting, how many dates you went on with your partner each month, how many times you called your mom, how many days in a row you meditated. Identify what is most important to you, and keep track of it. You may be more off-course than you realize:
“If you’re not tracking the key areas of your life, than you’re probably more off-course than you think.” — Benjamin Hardy, How to Consciously Design Your Ideal Future
CONTRIBUTED BY Ashley Richmond
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