“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
Start with a simple statement: what do you want to be?
Are you hoping to someday be a writer, a musician, a designer, a programmer, a polyglot, a carpenter, a manga artist, an entrepreneur, an expert at something?
How do you get there? Do you write your intention on a piece of paper, and put it in a bottle and launch it to sea, hoping it will manifest? No. The universe isn’t going to make this happen. You are.
Do you set yourself a big goal to complete by the end of the year, or in three months? Sure, but that doesn’t get the job done. In fact, if you think back on most examples in your life, setting big long-term goals probably doesn’t work very often. How many times has this strategy been successful?
I’m going to lay down the law here, based on many experiments I’ve done in the last 7 years: nothing will change unless you make a daily change.
I’ve tried weekly action steps, things that I do every other day, big bold monthly goals, and lots of other permutations. None of them work except daily changes.
If you’re not willing to make it a daily change, you don’t really want to change your life in this way. You only like the idea of learning to draw/speak Japanese/play guitar/program in php/etc. You don’t really want to do it.
So make a daily change. Let’s dig into how it’s done!
How to Turn an Aspiration Into a Daily Change
Let’s name a few aspirations:
- Lose weight
- Write a book
- Stop procrastinating
- Fall in love
- Be happy
- Travel the world
- Drink more water
- Learn Spanish
- Save money
- Take more pictures
- Read more books
How do you turn those lofty ideas into daily changes? Think about what you could do every day that would make the change happen, or at least get you closer to the goal. Sometimes that’s not always easy, but let’s look at some ideas:
- Lose weight – start walking every day, for 10 minutes at first, then 15 after a week, then 20 … once you are walking for 30-40 minutes a day, make another change — drink water instead of soda.
- Write a book – write for 10 minutes a day.
- Stop procrastinating – I can already hear the ironic (and original!) jokes about how people will deal with procrastination later (har!). Anyway, a daily action: set a Most Important Task each morning, then work on it for 10 minutes before opening your browser/mobile device.
- Fall in love – go somewhere each day and meet/social with new people. Or do daily things that make you a fascinating person.
- Be happy – do something each day to make the world better, to help people.
- Travel the world – save money (see next item). Or start selling your stuff, so you can carry your belongings on a backpack and start hitchhiking.
- Save money – start cutting out smaller expenses. Start cooking and eating at home. Sell your car and bike/walk/take the train. Start looking for a smaller home. Do free stuff instead of buying things.
- Drink more water – drink water when you wake up, then every time you take a break (once an hour).
- Learn Spanish – study Spanish sentences in Anki and listen to Pimsleur tapes 10 minutes a day.
- Take more pictures – take pictures at lunch (but dear jeebus, not of your lunch) and post them to your blog.
- Read more books – read every morning and before you go to bed.
You get the idea. Not all of these are perfect ideas, but you could come up with something that works better for you. Point is, do it daily.