The concept of taking daily action towards your goals is something that is being advocated by many self-help gurus. But what makes those small but specific daily actions superior to spending several hours on the same task a few days per week?
Well, first of all the cumulative effect of daily action can’t be overstated. This is one area where we tend to deceive ourselves in a positive way. Think about this: you spend 30 minutes each day working on one specific thing or studying a certain subject. Maybe you read or write 15 minutes in the morning and then 15 minutes in the evening.
For most people on the planet, this can easily be achieved seven days a week once you’ve made it a habit. In a year this equals more than a whole month of full time work doing this activity! And it’s even more effective since you’ll be doing it everyday so the knowledge is fresh in your mind and keeps getting updated.
Can you make a few adjustments and double the amount of time? If you get up a little earlier you can do 30 minutes in the morning and skip 15 minutes of Netflix in the evening and you got a full 30 minutes in there as well. Now you’ve got two extra months of work or study per year! I bet you can achieve something in two months that will radically change your life. What will it be?
Now, when you think about how much time your daily practice adds up to in a year it becomes evident how important it is to choose your activity mith care. You don’t want to spend months doing something that will not give you the maximum benefit, do you? Here’s a simple action plan:
- Set your goal; decide exactly what you want to achieve.
- Research how others have reached the same or a similar goal.
- Make a step-by-step system from beginning to end that leads to your goal.
- Decide what time in the day you will sit down (unless it’s physical exersice) and do the work.
- Make space for it in your day by rearranging or changing habits where necessary.
- Hold yourself accountable or find someone that will check in on you to make sure you don’t start making excuses to skip your daily actions.
- Enjoy the results and don’t forget to enjoy the process and have fun.
If you really need more reasons for taking daily action, here’s another one. You will disarm that destroyer-of-dreams called resistance. When you do something every day, not five days a week, not six, but EVERY day; it will become familiar behavior that your brain will gravitate towards without resistance.
I work out every day in the morning for 10 to 15 minutes. My morning does not feel complete if I don’t do it and it actually takes more effort to skip it than to do it. This means that I don’t have to spend any of my day’s energy on willpower. It’s pretty much an automatic process by now (it actually took less than a month to get to that point).
However, the times I’ve skipped exercise for a few days due to illness I’ve seen that resistance start building as quickly as you can imagine. It’s like one of those bars in a bar chart; I can actually see it get taller and taller in my mind as I feel resistance grow. It only takes a day or two for me and that automatic behavior is gone and once again I have to fight that voice in my head that tells me I could probably skip just one more day of exercise.
There is tremendous power in this concept and paired with your normal daily work it can make you a high achiever with less effort than you’ve probably imagined. In the words of Bob Proctor, “try it, you’ll like it”.