I’m shooting for improving my success in all areas of life: business, relationships, finance, health. This morning, I started back in on my physical fitness. The night before, for the first time in my life, I consciously ate half of my meal and left the rest. With money, I do a blend of explaining why I don’t need to buy X, and also deciding how to earn more Y. I wanted to share some of my method for how I do what I do in this regard.
Start By BEING
I’m not on a diet. I’m a healthy person. Healthy people eat better. Healthy people work out. I AM, and from that flows what I DO. See the difference?
Be, then do.
Now, the way I get this process to really work is that I write it down. I draw it. I make it real. I have a little poster that has the various identities I choose to be. The same paper has a huge, wild goal on it. So, if you want to work on success, if you really really want to improve the quality of what you’re doing, you have to define your identity (around your beliefs, your values, your desires), and write it the hell down. It does no one (and by that, I really just mean you) any good if you don’t have something to reference, especially as you’re rolling forward. WRITE IT DOWN.
And then below that is the secret to it all.
Inch By Inch
Once you have a really solid grasp on who you are (or who you are going to grow into being), once you’ve written down the wild goals, you have to write this below it all: Inch by Inch.
Anne Lamott had her “bird by bird.” Same thing. How do you improve? Inch by inch. You don’t decide one day that you’re going from fat to fit, and then take off that afternoon to run a marathon. You start by going walking. Then you run from one telephone pole to the next. Then you get a few more poles before you have to walk. And then you sign up for a 5K that you’re worried you won’t complete. And then you run a few more. And then there’s a 10K, and a half, and then you sign up for the marathon, and along the way you accidentally lose some weight, gain some muscles, and accidentally find yourself at the race with a number pinned to your chest.
It starts with each inch. It starts with not putting your kid’s last few bites in your mouth. It starts with not buying another pair of sunglasses when you lose yours (again). It starts when you don’t say something jerky to your significant other. It starts when you take the stairs instead of the elevator.
It’s all inches.
This year, I’ll hit my financial goal that I set for 2010. I’m sure of it. I didn’t write down any kind of fitness goals, so I have no idea how I did. And that’s part of it. When you don’t write it down, you don’t know how you’re doing.
But none of this came overnight. I didn’t write a goal on Jan 1 and then hit it by the end of Dec 31. I started working on this years ago. I started from the same place where we all start: without resources, without goals, without motivation, without mentors, without models, without funding.
My blog is one of the top blogs in the world right now because I’ve been at it for 11 years. My New Marketing Labs is one of the successful new marketing agencies because we started it two years ago, and I had the ideas for four years before that. I’m a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur magazine because I started writing when I was seven.
Inch by inch. There’s no overnight success.