Small Daily Improvements Add Up

"Improve Your Skill-or Learn a New One - ...

“Improve Your Skill-or Learn a New One – In a Vital Army Job-Join the WAC’s Now” – NARA – 514613 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More than likely you know people who are unhappy with their lives.  It may be they don’t make enough money, they lack motivation, they can’t seem to lose weight, their house is messy, etc.  Such people tend to make excuses rather than changes.  They’ll use phrases as: “if only I….”,  “I can’t seem to….”, “I never…”, “It always seems like….”, “I don’t have the skill…”, and on and on.

Conquering a Problem

What would you like to improve in your life?  How do you go about changing your circumstances?  Start by assessing your problems and brainstorm small ways to fix them.  Think of your troubles as challenges instead of hindrances.  Break each problem down into bite-sized pieces and eliminate one piece at a time.  If only you take the time to think things out, you may surprise yourself with what you come up with.

Remember the movie “What About Bob?”  This was a 1991 comedy starring Bill Murray as Bob Wiley (a psychiatric patient) and Richard Dreyfuss as Dr. Leo Marvin (a New York psychiatrist).  Bob is a kind man who suffers from several phobias.  Leo decides to take a week’s vacation which Bob finds hard to cope with.  Bob follows Leo to his cabin where he forces them to let him stay.  Leo had published a book called “Baby Steps” that explains how to conquer an intimidating problem by approaching it gradually.

I’ll always remember what Dr. Leo said about taking baby steps.  If you have a big problem or need to learn a new skill, but don’t know how to go about it, approach it with baby steps. This advice comes in handy when I need to learn a new computer task.  Keeping up with new technology is not easy unless you face it one step at a time.

Make a Small Improvement Daily

Even if you feel you can’t solve your problems easily, you still can make your life better with each day.  You don’t need a whole lot of luck or a bundle of money, just a little time.  All you need to do is figure out some small way to make your life better.

Following are some troubles people may have and ways they can improve them:

  • Difficulty operating a device –  If you have trouble figuring out your new cell phone, take a few minutes a day to review its manual.  Have friends or family teach you its functions.  Find information about it online.  Aim to learn a new function every few days.
  • Being lonely – If you feel you don’t have enough friends or someone to keep you company, you can become acquainted with one person per day or week.  Look up activities in your community and try a few.  If you like to have a few drinks, go to a saloon and chat with others there.  Find and join a special interest group.
  • Having a messy house -If your house is cluttered with all kinds of stuff and you’re disorganized or embarrassed to have people over, you need not live with it.  Rather than spending one whole day cleaning the entire house, you can spend up to an hour a day cleaning one room at a time.  Monday you can scrub the bathroom, Tuesday, organize an overfilled closet, Wednesday, catch up on the laundry, etc.
  • Learning a new skill -So you have a weakness or a need to learn a new skill, but you don’t know where to begin.  Ask yourself some questions:  Where can I learn to do this?  Who has the talent or knowledge that I can contact?  Where can I find out more about it?  Most of all, don’t forget about the internet.  It is a great source of information for practically anything under the sun.
  • Improving a relationship – It may be a spouse, family member, or a friend who has become angry with you.  Analyze where you went wrong and try to make good on your mistakes.  Do a small good deed for him or her.  Offer to help this person with a problem they have.  Send him/her an article this person would be interested in reading.  Going out of your way and doing one or several favors may help revive your relationship.

Chipping Away at the Stone

So you have a fear, a weakness, or trouble of some kind.  This only proves that you’re human.  Still, some feel that if they can’t resolve the issue immediately, they can’t resolve it at all.   Not true!  Even if it takes you weeks, months, or years, you can remove this problem by slowly trying to resolve it.  Taking a long time is much better than not trying at all.

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