“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.” ~ Doug Firebaugh
I have no idea who Doug Firebaugh is but I’ve read and heard from other sources that this is good advice. Doug just happened to show up with this quote on Facebook today and remind me that I need to write something about this.
I know, intuitively, that it’s good advice because I’ve tried to change and/or improve things in my life before and suddenly it’s 10 years later and I’ve accomplished nothing to bring me closer to the goal I’d set so many years earlier. That’s because I’ve lost focus. I’ve made someone or something else a priority – life got in the way. By doing something every day that gets you closer to your goal, you keep your momentum working for you – you keep your eye on the prize.
Keith Ellis, in his book The Magic Lamp, goes one-step further. He says that once a week, you should write a progress report. He’s probably right. I haven’t gotten to that point yet but I’m going to do my first progress report today. I’ll probably include sections like:
- What I did daily to improve?
- What mistakes did I make?
- How can I do better?
The thing that makes this uncomfortable and makes me scowl a little is the accountability of it. It’s a little in-your-face regarding your short-comings and I typically prefer to gloss over those and see myself and my efforts as flawless. Raise your hand if you have ever said something like, “I’m eating great food and exercising, I have no idea why I’m not losing weight.” Me too. Our brains conveniently forget about a candy bar here or there, disregard that sugary coffee, or block out that we cleaned our plate at Ruby Tuesdays. Or the exercise we’re doing is just a leisurely stroll – we’re not pushing ourselves at all. The problem with all of this is you just ignore what you’re doing wrong and keep repeating past mistakes.
I want to quit doing that now. It’s time to face the music. I’ve been doing well with losing weight for the last month – eating well and exercising. However, when I was sick this last week (there’s always SOME kind of wrench in things) I really slacked on my exercise. It’ll become a slippery slope if I let it. Luckily, it’s ridiculously beautiful outside today and I’m looking forward to the sunshine and fresh air during a run this afternoon!
Join me in my quest to improve. It doesn’t have to be weight-loss. Pick something in your life you’d like to do better – a habit you’d like to change or habit you’d like to start. Maybe think bigger than a habit – do you want to change your career, live somewhere else? Spend 10-30 minutes a day focusing on your goal and do something that will inch you a little closer to it tomorrow. Be honest with yourself. Call yourself out on your excuses. Write down a weekly progress report. We’ll be happier for the work and focus we’ve put into it all. In the words of Switchfoot, “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?”