I’m ambitious – ambitious about coming up with goals and getting too frazzled to follow through. When I was a student I worked like a robot with to-do lists and daily schedules. A year out of college, I’m on track professionally but lacking in organization when it comes to additional pursuits a.k.a. “moonlighting” gigs.
After reading Scott Young’s article on 99% Fix Bad Habits: Insights from a 7-Year Obsession, I realized the best way to get goals accomplished is to work on them on a daily basis. There is no other confidence boost than being able to count off all of the things you accomplished in your spare time. While some goals such as becoming fluent in Spanish, launching a startup or publishing a book might seem lofty, breaking it up by committing to small daily habits makes accomplishing them a lot easier. Here are a few of mine:
Take 30 minutes to learn something new
I’ve already started working on a list of topics to look into. From most conversations I have with friends and coworkers, I try to have one of the action items (I somehow apply “The Action Method” to all aspects of my life) to include learning more about something that came up in the conversation.
Review ten words in Spanish every day
I studied Spanish in grade school and high school and was pretty decent if I do say so myself. However, to really know a language, you have to practice. I have been slacking off in the past few years and my skills could definitely use an improvement.
Sketch when riding the subway
I have been trying to make it a habit to sketch every day and it rarely happens. Out of all my creative pursuits throughout my life, painting has always been my favorite. I would be very disappointed in myself if I didn’t hold on to something I love doing and I’m good at. If you think you need more time in the day, think about how much time you spend on the subway.
Have a phone call with some one who lives far away
I’m very close with my family but we all live in different cities. In addition, I have many friends from college and childhood who live in different states. Messages and emails are okay, but nothing beats an actual phone call – or hearing how excited some one is to hear from you.
Have coffee and a conversation with some one interesting
I am lucky enough to live in NYC and there are too many interesting people to meet and talk with. I recently had coffee with one of my professors from Hofstra, Tom Klinkowstein, President of Media A . He tries to get coffee with at least three different people every week. When building relationships, face-to-face interactions are vital. You never know if one coffee and a conversation will be a gateway to a job opportunity, gaining inspiration, or just getting to know someone you admire.
Plan a week’s worth of blog posts
I do not blog enough, that’s all there is to it. It is important to write every day but it’s difficult to always come up with new content on the spot. Looking ahead for a week, I have an idea of what my schedule is and what I will be doing, making it easier to plan blog posts.
These six habits are simple enough to accomplish. As with anything, the first few weeks will be hard but eventually will become natural habits.
What are some smart daily habits you want to do/have started doing?