There are so many things in your life that you want to get better at, but for some reason you keep falling short of your own (an other’s) expectations. Why is that?

The problem is that we tend to try to better ourselves all at once, rather than concentrate on one important thing at a time, allowing ourselves to build up momentum over months and years. One day at a time turns into a lifetime of change and getting better. We can eventually become a better overall person if we have a day to day plan and stick to it.

Here is how to better yourself, one day at a time.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses

First, to better yourself on a consistent basis, you have to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you are awesome at working out or getting some exercise everyday, but your eating habits need a makeover. The idea here is to look at yourself realistically. Only from a realistic outlook can you create new habits and small changes in your life that will eventually stick.

Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. This will be a great list to use while you better yourself as well as something to look back on after months and years of life changes.

SEE ALSO: 42 Practical Ways to Improve Yourself

Pick a topic to work on

Now that you have a list of things that you are strong and weak at, go through the list and choose one simple thing you want to get better at. I suggest something that won’t take too much effort or time at first. This is because you want to set yourself up for success, at least initially, when it comes to bettering yourself.

A few good “starter” topics would be:

  • Do a light workout 3 times a week for 20 minutes each
  • Cut out one or two bad foods in your diet in the next 30 days
  • Drink 8 cups of water every day

These topics are good because they don’t require too much effort and are trackable. Remember to only pick one. We will be working on this for some time, so you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew.

Wake up early

There is no better way to start the process of geting better at something than to wake up earlier. Getting up early has a ton of benefits. It’s quiet, dark, and peaceful. You can be by yourself and you can truly concentrate on the change you want to make one day at a time.

Become mindful and aware of your topic

The more mindful we are of what we are trying to change in our lives, the more stock and momentum go into changing it. To become aware of what you are trying to get better at you can make small reminders throughout your day with a few reminder apps or just post a few sticky notes in certain strategic places that will remind you of the thing that you want to change.

Shining light on the topic you want to get better at is the best way to become mindful of it and actually make the change.

Be accountable

Being accountable to yourself and others around you is a tactic that many miss when trying to better themselves. Let your friends and family, your social networks, and sometimes even your work buddies know about the change you are making.

This will help you become more serious about your daily change, and could even prove to be a benefit for others around you as they may decide to join you in the topic that you have chosen. It’s not a bad thing to have a workout buddy!

Track your time and actions

If you can’t track something, you can’t manage it. In the process of bettering yourself you should track the days, hours, or minutes spent on the life change that you are making. This gives you data to look at during your review that you can use to decided if you are

Write and review

The only way to become better at something, day-in and day-out, is to stay on track. And you can’t do that without some sort of daily or weekly review. If you are a GTDer, than this will fit in perfectly with your weekly review that is already in place. If not, just set a time every day or week where you can write about and review your successes in making the change that you have set out to make.

By doing this review, you will be able to tell where you need to improve as well as when you are actually “done” making the change.

Rinse and repeat

Now that you gotten better at something, there is no need to stop at just one thing. Take out your strength and weaknesses list and identify something else you want to get better at. Maybe this time you will choose something that is a little more difficult, like playing guitar, learning German, or running 10 miles. Whatever it is, you now have the framework in place to better yourself one day at a time.

(Photo credit: Man jump through the gap via Shutterstock)

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