One of my favorite subjects to talk about is pushing yourself to make things happen. It doesn't matter how you express it, the message is still the same: You will never be better than you currently are if you don't challenge yourself; and, you will never have more than you do now if you never strive to have more.
In this week's article, we are going to talk about one of the secrets of getting more, getting better, and getting ahead in the shortest possible time. The "secret" that I am referring to is being deliberate in your practices, studies, and efforts.
Like most things in life, the best way to be more deliberate in your practice, drilling, or learning is by following a system. Systems allow you to develop the habits that will become a part of your brain's natural programming.
Here is my seven-part process, or "system", that will help you improve your performance across all sectors of your life (be sure to take notes during each step of this process so that you can't fudge it later):
Decide that you have the capacity to improve your life.
Set your goal and define it in three sentences or less. If it takes more than that, you will need to narrow your goal. As I have said before, you can't hit a target that you're not shooting at.
Next, break down your overall goal into smaller, more easily-obtainable goals. Creating these "milestones" will not only help you gauge your progress, but also help you avoid discouragement. Again, write them down.
Now, here is where it gets tricky. Look at each of the milestones you set and decide what skills, knowledge, or abilities you need to develop to reach each one. Make as detailed of a list as you can.
Arrange the list you just made into priorities. Which ones are most important, most basic, or a prerequisite for others on your list? This will help you determine the order you need to work on things.
Now that you know the things you need to accomplish, we will address the part that trips most people up: Focus on one specific subject or skill at a time. For example, if you want to learn to play tennis, practice nothing but your serve until it's solid, then move on to your footwork, etc. Don't bounce around and try to do everything at once.
Review, take notes, and do it again. Constantly review your progress and make note of your accomplishments...as well as your shortcomings. This allows you to both celebrate your achievements and revise your plan to overcome your weaknesses.
My challenge for you this week:
Take time to go through the seven steps and work deliberately to make something great happen!