Are you looking to improve your life but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. I’ve been there myself! Many people feel lost when it comes to personal growth. They know they want to get better, but they don’t know how.
In this article, I will share with you what I did and what worked for me. My hope is that you will gain some practical knowledge and actionable tips on how you can implement continuous improvement in your own life to be a better leader, manager, or business owner so that you can make positive changes in your life and see results that last.
What is continuous improvement?
In order to get better at getting better, it is important first to understand what continuous improvement is. Continuous improvement is a never-ending effort to improve products, services, processes, or in this case, ourselves. It’s the belief that there’s always room for improvement, no matter how good you might be. And it’s the understanding that the only way to get better is to keep pushing yourself.
It is an ongoing journey that requires dedication and commitment.
Why is continuous improvement important?
This all may sound like a lot of work, and it is. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. Because when you’re constantly striving to improve, you’re also constantly growing. You’re expanding your skillset, broadening your knowledge, and in some ways becoming a more well-rounded individual while also sharpening specific skills.
We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
There are many benefits of pursuing continuous improvement. Some of the benefits include:
– Improved quality of life
– Increased productivity
– Improved communication
– Enhanced creativity
– Boosted morale
– And much more!
Continuous Improvement in the Bible
If you are a follower of Jesus like me, then you know the concept of stewardship. I believe that we are to steward the people, position, and possessions that God has put in our lives.
In Luke chapter 19, Jesus shares a parable of a nobleman who gave three of his servants various amounts of minas(money) to look after while he went on a journey. I’m not going to share the whole story with you here, but the gist of it is this. Two of the servants took what they had and traded with it and delivered it to the noble man and increase when he returned. The third servant did nothing with the mina he had been given except hide it away. When the nobleman returned, he gave him the min back. Let’s just say that the nobleman was less than pleased that there had not been an increase.
I believe that some of the things that we have been given to steward our gifts, skills, and opportunities. I believe that God wants us to grow and maximize what he’s given us so that we can have maximum impact for good on this earth.
I believe that personal growth is a kingdom mindset.
Personal growth is not just about knowledge or learning
Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.
Dewey Finn(Jack Black), The School of Rock
I meet a lot of people who read a ton of books and never do anything the books say. They become quintessential armchair quarterbacks. They may be filled with knowledge, but they do not know how to actually DO. They know theory, but they have no battle scars.
Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.
How to get started with continuous improvement
Make the Mindset Shift
The first step is to make the mindset shift. You have to believe that personal growth is possible and important. You have to see yourself as a work in progress, as a student. I literally told myself out loud every single day that I am a student of wisdom.
This means making a commitment to lifelong learning and personal development.
Carving out time for personal growth
We all have super busy schedules, and the last thing we wanna hear is that we have one more thing to cram into our busy days. So it’s not so much about doing something extra in the day but rather replacing something that doesn’t add value to your life with something that does. It’s about making trade-ups.
There are so many things, like social media, Netflix, or even sports radio that are great for helping us decompress. However, if you start actually measuring how much time you spend on these things, you will probably be surprised at how much time they get. They are sneaky little time-thieves.
Make Use of Drive Time
One of the best things I ever learned was from Brian Tracy. In my early days of running my company, I was always out on the road driving from appointment to appointment or job site to job site. I learned from Brian Tracy to make my work truck become a university on wheels. I swapped out talk radio for cassette tapes on selling by Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, and others.
This did not take any extra time… it was simply what is the value swap on what I was spending my time on. Not only did I gain valuable skills, but it also helped me keep a positive attitude along with a focus on what was important at the time… Selling something that my team could produce.
These days it’s even easier with an audible.com subscription. Sign up, and you get two free audiobooks every month. Listen to those while you drive.
Start a morning routine
It’s just too easy to stay up late, wake up at the last minute, and then rush to get ready and get out the door. One of the things that has really made a difference in my life is committing to going to bed on time, waking up early well rested, and preparing my body, mind, and spirit for the day.
I personally wake up at least two and half hours before I need to be at work. I have a specific routine that I follow every weekday and a different routine on weekends. I’ll share more about my morning routines later, but the key part of my mourning routing is reading the Bible, praying, listening, thinking, and journaling. I consider this a key part of my continuous improvement system… My life operating system.
Iron Sharpens Iron
It’s been said that “your network is your net worth”, meaning that the people you surround yourself with are extremely important. It’s not just who you know. That is important. How about who knows YOU, but who really knows you. We all need people in our lives that will speak wisdom and correction, and that takes trust on both sides as well an ability to receive correction on our part.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Make it Easy with a Reminder System
One of the places personal growth Falls through the cracks is that we simply forget to do these things that make us better. We get caught up in the world end of the day. Another thing that I did early on was to implement a habit tracker app on my phone. I set up certain things that I wanted to do each day and reminders at the time I wanted to be reminded. There are a number of apps out there that can help you do it and even gamify it to keep it interesting. Two popular iOS apps are Strides and Streaks.
What gets measured gets improved.
Continuous Improvement is key to success in any area of life. You can get better at getting better by making small changes and swaps in your day-to-day routine. Implement a morning routine, make use of drive time, and start networking with like-minded individuals. Remember that “iron sharpens iron.” Make it easy on yourself by using a reminder system to keep you accountable.
When you continue to grow, you not only make your own life better, but you make the lives of those around you better too!
And finally, remember that you are running a marathon, not a sprint in the never-ending pursuit of excellence.
Nice Article Jason, I would like to learn how to be great at marketing and quality lead generation for my business, if you have any wisdom to share in that area please let me know. Most of our work comes from previous clients, however I know there are a lot of new potential clients out there needing our service, the unsolved mystery is how to obtain those new clients at a cost that allows the business to remain profitable.