I was watching a Tony Robbins video clip, in which he was sharing a practical approach to make next year better than this year. Regardless of whether you are thrilled with your life or feel there is lots of room for improvement, Tony reminds us that there is always room for improvement. In fact, he often speaks about his personal philosophy of Continuous And Never-ending Improvement (“CANI”), as the path to certain growth, achievement, and even happiness.
In this particular video, he shared a 4-part process that any of us can use to make next year better than this year – and even to make tomorrow better than today. Here is how you do it:
Step #1 – Select an area of your life you would like to improve and describe what that area is like for you currently. Be specific! Write it down.
Step #2 – Write down the rituals that have shaped your current conditions in this area. Be honest!
Step #3 – Write down what you want. What’s your compelling vision? Be specific!
Step #4 – Write down the rituals that will get you your compelling vision. What would you need to do differently each day to get what you want?
Now the obvious next step is to take action, by beginning to do things differently. The power of the exercise is that you begin to see your habits differently – and start to see how your habits relate to the results you are getting in your life, for better or for worse.
When I teach Organizational Behaviour, I spend a significant amount of time in the first week (and if I’m really honest, throughout the entire semester) discussing with the students the role of choices (decisions) in our lives. One way I highlight this is with the following adapted quote:
Watch your thoughts, for they become decisions.
Watch your decisions, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
If you’re like most people, the little stingy voice in your head may be whispering something similar to, “But, I don’t want to change my habits! My habits are easy – they’re a part of who I am!” If that’s the case, so be it – and you can continue to do more of the same and expect more of the same.
Or if you have your stingy voice under control and are ready to do what is required to change your destiny, perhaps the question lurking somewhere in your mind is, “When and how do I start taking different actions?” I would suggest that more productive questions to ask yourself are, “Am I ready, this very instant, to decide to take charge of creating the life I want?” and, “What is one thing I can do immediately to demonstrate my commitment and achieve momentum?”
Decide. Act. [Rinse.] Repeat.