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4 Easy Ways to Make Incremental Improvements in the New Year

Life is a game of inches, and the biggest improvements result from the smallest shifts.

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Many of us can get overwhelmed and off-course when setting resolutions for ourselves, our businesses, and our futures. If you want to take personal and professional growth to new heights in the new year, take an incremental approach to your new endeavors. By starting small and inching toward improvement, breaking down big goals into smaller, daily aspirations, we achieve reasonable, long-term results that can exceed our expectations.

Set achievable goals

New Year’s resolutions usually begin with grand plans to overhaul everything from diet to finances, but behaviors take time to change, and setting unrealistic expectations is the fastest way to failure. When training for a marathon, nobody runs 26.2 miles out of the gate. First, you get your body acclimated to running a mile, then three, then five, and so on. 

The main thing is to keep going at least one step further than the day before. Eventually, you will look back and see the many miles that you’ve come. Most of our goals, whether caring for our bodies and minds through a healthy lifestyle or building the foundation for entrepreneurial success, can be achieved like this. 

Related: Forget Big Goals. Take Baby Steps for Small, Daily Wins

Give your best 

Many people are seeking hacks to hop onto “easy street,” but when we take the time to give our best and enjoy the experience of learning, reflecting, and consciously interacting with others to enrich our journey to the top, the strength of our character shows to others. Effort and work ethic exemplified in everyday actions can easily separate one’s venture from the competition. 

The contributions you make to your customers when you bring a fully-focused, conscientious outlook to problem-solving far outweighs the quick-fix mindset. Your customers will invest in your vision with you because they trust you to be methodical and caring about your growth together. 

Related: The Personality Trait that Most Often Predicts Success

Create a positive culture

Positive people make others feel energized and eager to achieve more than they could have on their own. In business, as in life, the people that succeed are the ones that are collaborative and supportive and promote positivity through their words and actions.

Daily, positive actions create healthier habits and higher standards. It is always easier to explain why you are early, for instance than why you are late. The reward you get from one is a rush, while the payoff for the other is a downer. Over time, your feedback loops will be either consistently positive or consistently negative, based on your own daily habits. As a leader, your daily creation of positivity creates that same, positive feedback loop for your employees. 

Lead by daily example and your team will gravitate to your mission. 

Own today to win tomorrow

Monday starts on Sunday, with conscious strategizing for your week ahead. When you know what’s coming next, you can hit the ground running. Each day that begins with clear goals is a day without the uncertainty that makes entrepreneurship more challenging than necessary. Even if your daily goals are the requisite housekeeping that keeps your business afloat, when you conquer these mundane activities with gusto, you maximize your contribution to the business, your work community, and your internal ecosystem. 

An eagerness to achieve and a positive attitude that shines before sunrise, past sunset, and in every personal and professional interaction throughout the day, with the belief that each day really is a new opportunity, is a stage-setter for long-term success.

Related: Why Entrepreneurs Need to Do One Thing at a Time

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