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Personal Growth

Better Than Yesterday

“Better than yesterday” is a simple and effective practice for continuous improvement that can be applied to both our personal and professional life.

You might be in a situation where there is a desperate need to do or improve a lot of things at once. This can be an overwhelming experience. Such a situation can paralyse us and may prevent us from making any progress at all.

One simple approach we can follow is to focus on only one or a few areas, and then do or improve a little more than the previous day. And by doing this consistently over some time we can achieve a reasonable state in a particular area. Then we can switch to another area and repeat the same process.

For example, we can apply this practice whether we want to develop a new habit or improve a particular process for our team. Say, we want to develop a new habit of reading for 30 minutes every day. Instead of starting with 30 minutes from day one, we may start with 3 minutes. Then on the next day, try to read for more than 3 minutes and so on.

A key mindset for this approach to work is not focusing on the ideal target state but focusing on doing better than yesterday. Making consistent progress every day gives us the motivation and drive to keep progressing and achieve amazing results over time. James Clear in his book “Atomic Habits” showed that by becoming better by 1% than the previous day, you could become 37 per cent better over one year!