We try to focus on so many things at a time that we miss the opportunity to be better at one thing. In pursuit of becoming great, we forget that we need to start with being better. It is hard to stick to a plan unless it naturally fits in your daily schedule. I wanted to learn a bunch of things during the last few months but I discovered that if I want to improve on something, then I need to start with ONE thing at a time and give it at least 4 weeks to be skilled in it.

Don’t be the Same. Be Better.

Stick with ONE: Do not try to work on multiple tasks at a time, select one thing that you want to improve and stick with that. Multitasking doesn’t accelerate improvement, it impedes it. I know that we all want to be good at everything but it can only happen when we plan it right. Focus on one and schedule the others for later months.

Understand WHY?: Be clear on why you want to improve in this particular task. What motivates you? When you know how it is going to improve your life, it will work as an inspiration to not give up on it. Clear motivation increases your chances of success by helping you focus on the right thing.

Define BETTER: Have a quantifiable goal to measure your improvement. Unless you know what you want to achieve, you will never be able to succeed. Let’s say you want to be a better cook, what does that mean? Are you better because you can cook food in lesser time or because your food tastes better? Or, It may mean that you have newly improved cutting skills or you learned a new cuisine? There are many levels of better, define clearly what it means for you, and write that down.

Practice Daily: We get better at things when we do them frequently. Put in the work that is required to make this improvement to happen. Improvement comes from action, not the intention. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. If practicing 30 min daily isn’t possible then on those lazy days practice it only for 10 mins. Be consistent!

Measure Progress: As you have defined what “better” means to you. Measure your progress every week. It’s essential to not only measure your outcomes but also to analyze them. Learn what is working out for you and what changes you need to make to reach that goal.

Celebrate: It is important to not get discouraged when the progress is slow, but it is also important celebrate when your results are good. Give your self a treat when you achieve your goal. When you measure your results weekly, based on your progress celebrate the success with something that amuses you. But keep in mind that it should not be counterproductive to the goal you are trying to accomplish. Celebrating and sharing your achievements with others will keep you motivated.

Define your goals, take action, measure them and keep pacticing just for four weeks. These steps will not only make you better at something within a month, but it will also give you a sense of acomplsishment. It will drive you to do additional tasks on the road to self improvement.

“Don’t strive to be superior to others; strive to be better than you were yesterday.” 

 Matshona Dhliwayo