What if there was a set of action steps you could take that would improve yourself personally and professionally before this time tomorrow? Would you want to know? Would you honestly use the list if you knew you would get big improvements from it? I challenge you to take these on for the next day and see what you can accomplish in this brief period of time.
Each of the action steps I've included in the acronym I.M.P.R.O.V.E. can be implemented in the next 24 hours. While you can repeat these things over and over for as long as you want, it doesn't take much time to get them in place and seeing results.
Here they are…
I – Initiate
M – Make
P – Produce
R – Resolve
O – Organize
V – Vent
E – Educate
Let's take a look at each of these in greater detail…
I – INITIATE
There are three words that I'm aware of that will have a profoundly dramatic influence upon your business if you will take them to heart and act on them:
Just. Get. Started.
So many people wait until they come up with the “perfect” idea or until their product is “perfect” or until their website is “perfect” or … fill in the blank. Remember, you don’t have to get it perfect. Just get it started.
Stop waiting. Waiting is for the emergency room. Waiting is for the grocery store checkout line. Waiting is for rush hour.
Waiting is NOT for taking steps in your life and business.
What have you been putting off? Get started on it during the next 24 hours. Even if it's not “perfect”, which, by the way, NOTHING is! For most reading this, taking a step forward during the coming day is the catalyst you need for big, game-changing results. Take it.
M – MAKE
The only thing worse that not getting started is not knowing what it is that you need to get started on.
Make a decision once and for all and stick to it. Whether it's choosing a settling down, setting off on an adventure, choosing a career or a market, determining a traffic strategy or selecting an outsourcing vendor or anything else that you've been in limbo over, make a decision about it during the next 24 hours.
To be sure, you want to make a wise choice. You want to make a calculated choice. You want to make a good choice. But, just make it already!
Set yourself a deadline for this time tomorrow and make a final decision.
P – PRODUCE
An easy way to improve your life in the next day is simply to be more productive during that time period. And every time period after it. It's time to implement some healthier scheduling habits. Look for time-wasters and eliminate (or at least minimize) them. Identify ways you can use your time more effectively. Check out my book Get Er Done: The Green Beret Guide to Productivity for some productivity tips.
Outsource things that slow you down or get in your way. Time is a precious resource. You only have 24 hours – just like everyone else. That never changes. What CAN change is what you do with those trips around the clock. Be more productive. Besides using my book, take a few minutes today to search Google for “productivity tips” and begin using them immediately.
R – RESOLVE
I've got two more life-changing words for you:
What is holding you back? A bad reputation? A broken website? A problem? A situation where you're stuck? A lack of customers? A strained relationship? A blown budget?
Whatever it is that is costing you, fix it. Part of improving your life is resolving outstanding issues that are harming it.
I don't know a single person who can't identify at least one thing that is creating problems for their lives, which ultimately is costing. Chances are, like everyone there are multiple issues for you.
Resolve them. Take time during the next day to fix it.
O – ORGANIZE
I'm a planner. It was one of my jobs in the Special Forces. I organize things like my life depends on it. Wait a minute, my life DOES depend on it! You need to organize your short and long term “to do” list and streamline it. You need to prioritize it. You need to put things on your schedule during the next 24 hours that are important NOW.
If you are getting ready to have your first child, you don’t need to decide where they will go to college. You should rather think about what kind of diaper you are going to buy.
If you're trying to build a webpage, it's probably not important at this point to spend time learning how to effectively buy pay per click advertising. You need to schedule things related to building that webpage.
One of the reasons that people get overwhelmed and paralyzed is because they try to do too many things at once. We've bought into this idea that “multi-tasking” is good. Sometimes it is, but most times it puts pressure and stress upon the person to the point they get nothing done. I talk about in Get Er Done how focusing on one thing at a time will serve you better most of the time.
Strip everything down to whatever comes next. Focus on what's important now in the life of your business. To be sure, you want to have a clear long-term vision and plan. But, you can't build the penthouse until you've laid the foundation.
V – VENT
This can be a completely freeing practice for a lot of people. Vent about the barriers and obstacles you are facing. That is, find something who can give you advice and ask for their help in areas that have you “stuck“.
Whether it's a mentor or a mastermind group, a friend or an employee, someone at a forum or a workshop … talk over your struggles and get qualified advice on what to do next.
I recommend that EVERY person (I don't care if you're making $5 a month or $5 million a month) get a COACH. Hire someone to help you. Contact me to see if we can work something out. If you don’t hire me, then hire someone else.
When you find the right coach, it is money well spent. Hire a coach and get “unstuck”. Or stay stuck without investing a penny. Seriously, which of these two things is best for you life?
Take the next 24 hours and hire a coach. You need it.
E – EDUCATE
I'll close out with two more words for you…
That is, identify what you need that you don't currently have and spend some time learning how to get it. It's simple really. If you need to lose weight, spend some time learning how to do it.
I am a constant learner. In the military, when we had a need for a new skill come up, we looked around to see where we could learn it. We sent people to evasive driving school, to locksmith school. We didn't restrict ourselves to just what was already available.
If you need to get more clients, spend some time learning how to do it. If you need to setup a WordPress blog, spend some time learning how to do it. You can dramatically improve your life by getting educated in the areas that are currently standing between you and success. By educating yourself you can make the decisions we talked about earlier, as well as most of the other things on this list.
Learn how to do something that you need.
Any of these things can be a big, big deal for you. I strongly encourage you to get started on this list. Devote time each day for the next week to completing the things I've shared with you. One per day. Look back 24 hours from now, and then 7 days from now, to see how monumental this has been for you.
Photo – Flickr:Austin Kleon