One of the greatest miracles of life is that you don’t need to be tomorrow what you are today, and one of the greatest insights of life is that you can’t be tomorrow what you don’t do today. – John Maxwell
Why don’t we do the things we should do in order to grow?
Our list of excuses could be endless. We might try to blame lack – lack of time, lack of energy, lack of the ability to organize (usually, the ability to organize time or energy). But often, the biggest thing standing between us and our development is a failure to realize that growth is not an automatic process – it’s active.
In his habit-hacking guidebook Today Matters, John Maxwell highlights the importance of every day we’re given. To realize our full potential, we must leverage all of our resources, including our time. Those who settle for average are willing to coast through life and let their whims determine their daily agenda. But the growth-minded make the present count – because they know that today matters!
Putting Habits in Place that Make Tomorrow Better
It’s said that experience is the best teacher, but that’s only half-right. Evaluated experience is the best teacher.
In order to grow, we first have to engage by assessing what we’ve been doing, the results we’ve been getting, and how to improve our outcomes by adjusting our actions.
Here’s a 3-question assessment to help you add goal-supportive habits to your daily routine.
1. WHAT IS MY PLAN?
Take a look at your schedule. What do you see?
More than likely, the coming days are filled with work and appointments, some holiday travel and some pending chores to do and errands to run. You’ve written down these things to keep them top-of-mind, especially when the predetermined time comes for you to complete them.
That’s how we must treat personal growth.
We think of personal growth as distinctly different from these things. We think of it as a recreational activity, and we might even consider it too self-centered to build into our schedule. We tell ourselves we’ll invested in our growth “when we have free time.”
But we set aside time to go shopping for groceries so that we can nourish ourselves. We set doctor’s appointments so that we can remain strong and healthy. And we make plans to visit family to refresh ourselves.
Growth has to be intentional. Hope is not a strategy!
Do you have a personal growth plan? Could someone tell you had a personal growth plan if they picked up your datebook? What results has it gotten you so far?
If you’re looking for a simple way to add growth to your day, consider downloading the Maxwell Leadership app.
2. WHERE AM I STUCK?
Many people would rather continue dealing with familiar mediocrity than unfamiliar excellence. Even if change is for the better, the idea can scare us more than the pain of staying the same.
When someone does not want to change, nothing can make them. When someone wants to change, nothing can stop them.
When we evaluate our approach so far, we must look at what has been keeping us from making progress, forgetting limitations like time, money, and energy.
What is really keeping you from growing? What emotions arise when you think about change?
3. WHAT CAN I DO?
Theodore Roosevelt spoke some of the most empowering words in human history when he said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Making growth progress is not like flipping a light switch on or off – there is no successful all-or-nothing approach to goal achievement. The question on any given day is not, “Can I do A, B, C, and D for my goal?” but instead, “What can I do to get closer to my goal?”
Another helpful question to ask is, “If every day were like today, would I be closer to my goal in 3 months? 6 months? A year? 5 years?” When we see our agenda this way, we realize the significance not just of every day, but of every choice. Not one effort goes to waste when we are trying to grow.
Here’s a convenient place to start building growth-healthy habits…
Growth is not an automatic process. It requires your involvement, investment, and intention. Maxwell Leadership has endeavored to make that process as simple as possible by creating a free-to-download daily personal growth engagement app to guide your growth plan.