Want to lose weight? Exercise regularly; Want to learn a language, study every day; Want to get good marks, study every day; Want to master a skill, practice daily.
‘Do it daily’ is the advice we keep receiving. The issue is how to do something daily. We start and give up after a few days. I would propose the following five ideas:
Set small goals
My French teacher had a very practical suggestion. She asked me to spend just five minutes every day to revise what she had taught. It worked! When I was setting myself one hour to study every day, it was not working out. But finding five minutes was easy, even if it was just before going to bed. To my surprise, I ended up studying more than five minutes daily, sometimes even an hour or more.
Don’t Make Comparisons
It is natural for us to make comparisons with peers. However, people are different. Some learn something quickly than others but it does not mean that others can’t learn. It is better to have targets for your own progress rather than comparing your progress with others.
Give up making excuses
Most of the times, we give up doing what we want to do daily on small pretexts. For example, no walk if it is raining; no study if there is a festival; and no music practice if there are guest coming over. Doing something daily means actually finding time to do it every day, without fail. The only liberty we can take is to adjust the time, if something else comes up.
Reward yourself when you achieve your small goals. For example, If I could do it daily for 30 days, I will have dinner at my favourite restaurant or go to movie with friends. These are social activities we do regularly anyway but linking them with a personal sense to achievement will act as another motivation.
Find someone who pushes you
We all know people who are our true well-wishers, and can give good advice. Share your goal with one of them. He/she will keep reminding you of the goal and help you overcome challenges that come in the way. Moreover, this will also enhance your accountability towards your commitment.
Everything is difficultly before it is easy. With consistent effort and perseverance, we make incremental progress. Jascha Heifetz, one of the greatest violists, once said, “I don’t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.”
This is the best way to emphasize upon the importance of doing something daily if we want to excel at it.