The 1% Challenge

Your attitude determines your altitude - Zig Ziglar Quotation

What would happen if you could improve one percent per day?

I wonder if anyone’s ever done a study to see when gyms are more crowded—in January (post new year’s resolution season) or in the spring (pre swimsuit season).

I’d put my money on January. My gym was packed after the holidays. But I can’t complain. Most of them were gone by Presidents’ Day. Moving on…

Wise words from the Cheshire Cat:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Or, as George Harrison sang it, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.”

Any Road is not where I want to be.

I used to set shortsighted goals. I made New Year’s resolutions that I met about half the time. I attended conferences, got all charged up, and came back to the office with big dreams.

It wasn’t bad. I met enough of my goals that I didn’t stagnate. I grew my business, bought my dream cars, lost weight, got married, etc. Good things happened.

Where will you be in 10 years?

But a while back, I got a wake up call. A client, mentor and friend asked:  Where will you be in 10 years?

Now I look at goal setting differently. I make all my goals with a 10-year mindset. I want to be constantly improving—moving in incremental steps toward where I want to be. I don’t want to be on Any Road to Anywhere. I want to be on the Intentional Road to My Future Self.

A question I often ask (to myself and colleagues) is: Can you improve 1% a day? That’s a 365% improvement over a year. It could be learning two new words, starting a book, watching less TV—anything.

So where do I want to be in 10 years?

In 10 years I’d like to have a business partner who can do what I am doing, much better. I’ll be 71, and my goal is to semi-retire and travel across the nation speaking and writing content for my publications. Preferably from a cottage deep in nature.

Here are some of the ways I’m improving—toward that goal—1% a day.

  1. I analyze to see what I am doing right each day in my business and tweak if I can do it better.
    Live Your Legend has some excellent free materials to help with this.
  2. I ask mentors what I am doing wrong.
    If you don’t have a mentor, at least follow one online who can push you toward success. My favorites are Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar and Debra Benton. Love her public speaking course.
  3. I do the above two when it comes to my relationship with my wife.
    She’s very good at answering me back at #2. After all, I give her plenty of ammunition to choose from.
  4. I exercise and improve my diet daily so that it becomes a habit.
    I’ve shed 30 pounds already. My goal is to beat my fitness coach in arm-wrestling. It’s a she.
  5. I learn one new word a day.
    Yesterday’s word was quixotic. Today I did not have time so I re-learned how to say “no.” I have to re-learn this word every now and then.
  6. I read one self-development article each day.
    By one of the three people mentioned in #2 above and several others.
  7. I think of small ways to improve my relationship with my team.
    Staff comes first. Treat them well and they treat my clients well.

My goals for the rest of this year.

I have a couple goals for this year. One is to call five clients a day and thank them for their business. The other is to post twice a week.  This one will be tough.

What about you? I’d love to hear your goals and your 10-year vision below. I like to make mine public which forces me to commit.

Here’s to a purposeful career!

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