Where are you?
Where are you? Not like where you're physically sitting or standing, but where are you starting your journey from?
Chances are, if you have stumbled across this blog post, you are at least kind of interested in improving some part of your life. Maybe you want to improve your health, drop a few pounds, and feel more energized throughout your day. Maybe you want that promotion at work, or learn a new skill. Point is, there is some part of your life that feels like it's not at it's full capacity and you want to go about changing that. In other words, you want more - and that's awesome. To get where you want to go, you need to know where you are starting from. Just like when you plug in your destination on [insert name of navigation app here], you can't get directions unless you let your phone access your current location (or you manually type in your current location so that big brother doesn't track you all the time... ahem). Knowing where you are now helps you start that big plan toward achieving your goals.
Where you are now could be any number of things. I'll give you an example - one of my personal goals is to improve my diet and shape my physique. Before I started changing my habits, I took a look (an uncomfortably close look) at the current status of my body. First and foremost, I stepped on the dreaded scale, looked at the number, and I wrote it down. I took measurements around various parts of my body - arms, legs, waist, hips, etc. I wrote that down, too. Then, 30 days into my efforts to improve my diet, when I repeated this exercise I was astounded at the simplest, most predictable thing that happened. The numbers changed. I know, it sounds like common sense. I had dropped a few pounds on the scale, and every measurement that I took was smaller than my original measurement. This got me thinking... Every other time that I had tried to make a change to my diet, I hadn't done this exercise. And around 30 days in, I would give up because I wasn't able to see the change day to day in the mirror. I would give up because I didn't know where I started.
Of course, this exercise needs to mesh with your own personal goals. Looking to learn a new language? Take a tally of how many phrases and words you know right now. Write the most complicated sentence that you can today without looking anything up. Put in the time. Study. Then, a month later, repeat this exercise and compare. You can do the same thing with learning an instrument. Record yourself playing a song that you've been wanting to learn. Practice it consistently for a month, then take another recording of yourself and compare it. Doing this will prove to yourself that the effort you put in is producing results. Then, once you have your benchmark, you can move to adjusting and recalibrating your strategy toward achieving your goals.
It sounds like a simple task, really, but it can be so daunting. It can be scary to face yourself head on with all your flaws and shortcomings. But you have to face them now, so that you can change them later.
My challenge to you: Write down where you are right now in any aspect of your life that you wish to improve. For a month, work consistently toward your goals (whatever they may be). Then, write down where you are after a month of your hard work. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what you are capable of!