The most important factor in improving your life is to have goals instead of dreams. Concrete, specific goals exist in reality…lofty, shiny dreams exist in fantasy. All of the men who have dreams instead of goals soon discover that their dreams never become reality. They gradually lose momentum, and then wake up one day feeling like they are slogging through life, getting lazier, getting fatter, getting depressed, and getting further away from achieving those dreams from their youth.
Much of the stagnation many men feel in their lives is due to the lack of forward progress.
That is why the second most important factor in improving your life is forward momentum. As long as you’re even an inch closer to your goal, it’s an improvement over the day before.
A few months ago, I listened to a podcast interview of Craig Ballantyne, author of The Perfect Day Formula, and editor of the Early to Rise online magazine. Among the many fine points in the interview, Ballantyne recommended that people find some “magic time” of at least 15 minutes each day in which their attention is at its peak, and use that 15-minute time block to focus on a passion. (I’ve always been a morning person, and last year, I did something similar, using the early morning hours as my “magic time” to complete my book.)
Ballantyne’s interview was pretty good, but there was one thing that stayed in my head long after the podcast ended. Fifteen minutes is about 1% of the day, and if we were to devote just 1% of the day to something we’re passionate about, we would get something really huge completed in a very short amout of time.
Just 1% of the day.
All day, that number 1% rolled around in my head like a lost marble.
I already know that the concept of incremental progress works. I wrote about my experience with it HERE in the difference between discipline and motivation. However, now I realize that article could have been a bit intimidating for some people. The problem for many people is that they are not only intimidated by the size of their goals, but they are also intimidated by the amount of work it takes to get there.
That’s the reason for today’s article.
The genius behind Craig Ballantyne’s suggestion of spending 15 minutes a day on a passion is that something is always better than nothing. For example, reading 15 minutes a day means that even a slow reader can get through about a dozen books each year. Even jogging for 15 minutes a day can improve endurance and overall health.
Yes, it really is possible to get something huge done by working on it for just 1% of the day. Pick an area and spend just 15 minutes working diligently on it each day.
You can give the other 99% of the day to other tasks and obligations.