There was a time when I didn't spend extra time on studying and reading after work.
Part of me wanted to make a difference, but I ended up stucking in a rut with nothing changed whatsoever. So I've decided to jump out of the comfort zone, and try something new.
I took a new job in a new city. Everything was new to me, from colleges and company's culture to my duties and responsibilities of the position. I need to learn everything from scratch, which was not easy.
My friend asked me, "are you stressed?"
"Yep", I said.
-"That's how you make progress."
That's my aha moment. Yeah, maybe it's a good thing.
So I started to realize and see the positive effects I've been benefiting already while taking new challenges.
If you want to make improvement every day, make sure you try and hold on to the following three tips.
Set practical goals
A life lack of goals and plans in a long term will only undermine your mental and physical well-beings since you'll eventually get bored, anxious and depressed of the same lifestyle day after day.
So set some goals in your life, and more importantly, practical goals.
Even if you fail to achieve your goal sometimes, the effort you've channeled during the process is the strongest evidence of self-improvement.
Reward yourself
Continuous improvement requires more than just a strong willpower.
The best way to make progress every day is the one that can keep yourself motivated all the time so that you make improvement out of a force of habit.
You can achieve that by rewarding yourself every time you reach a goal.
Say you've exercised for 21 consecutive days. Why not share such a great news with your friends?
I'm sure your friends would be happy for you, and that will once again motivate you to stick to your fitness goal and make further progress.
It doesn't matter how small a reward it is, the point is to stay motivated beyond hitting the finish line. That's how you become a better version of yourself.
Use fragmented time to learn
I read for at least 30 mins every day in the morning since Jan this year.
One day, as I was doing some cleaning, and I suddenly noticed the books being in the same place since the very first day I had bought them.
So I thought, since I've bought them, I might as well read them.
Then I did, reading a bit every day.
Later...I just get addicted to it. Like I'd feel something lost if I fail to read today. I never find it difficult to maintain this routine. After all, it's only a 30-min reading. So I read with 30-min joy.
Often times, when you invest less time in one thing, you're less likely to get bored and tired.
The Swiss Cheese Method invented by Alan Lakein, an American author on personal time management, proposed the theory to tackle a big task by taking small and random bites of it.
Say you need 20 mins to write a project proposal, but now you only have 15 mins left before lunch.
If you hesitate and choose to do it in the afternoon, then you'll waste the 15 mins.
However, if you make use of the 15 mins to finish most of your proposal, you only need to spare 5 mins later.
Fragmented time is valuable and mostly ignored.
However, you don't necessarily need a big chunk of time for an overwhelming task. What matters the most is to get started and keep coming back for it.
Every little effort counts if you "do it now" rather than "do it later".