“Twelve years from now, your future self is going to thank you for something you did today, for an asset you began to build, a habit you formed, a seed you planted.
Even if you’re not sure of where it will lead, today’s the day to begin.”
– Seth Godin
I saw this quote this morning and enjoyed chewing on it. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how life is a series of small decisions. And in the moment, those small decisions to don’t seem like a big deal, but over time, those little moments add up. My friend, Katrice, recently challenged our Masterminds group with a thoughtful blog post by AJ Juliani. In essence, if people improved by just 1% every day, think about the amount of progress that could be made in a year. On days when it’s hard to get motivated or I’m feeling overwhelmed, I consider this concept. You can really apply it to just about any area of life.
What if I drank 1% more water every day for a year?
What if I was 1% more kind every day for a year?
What if I improved my ability to connect with learners by 1% every day for a year?
What if I added 1% more voice or choice into my lessons every day for a year?
What if I got 1% more sleep every day for a year?
What if I read 1% more books or articles every day for year?
What if I ate 1% more leafy greens every day for a year?
As someone who has struggled with anxiety, this concept of the 1% is incredibly productive and therapeutic. When I left teaching to become an administrator, my life improved in the summer. I know that sounds nuts since I would actually have less flexibility in my schedule, but a firm schedule kept me from spiraling out of control. I used to try to improve EVERY element of my teaching when lesson planning over the summer. I used to try to improve EVERY element of my health and well-being too. In short, I would spend my summers being “so extra.” It got so bad that I was actually measuring my moles…because surely my moles had been growing without my knowledge during the busy school year!
You are worthy of love and belonging regardless of your rate of progress. Your imperfections make you perfectly human and incredibly lovable. I had someone tell me once, “Why chase perfection? People don’t like perfect people.” Haha.
So, take a deep breath. Enjoy the serenity of knowing that you don’t have to be perfect to make a difference, and you don’t have to improve at a rapid rate to feel good about yourself.
Choose something that matters to you. And grow a little every day because a year from now, your future self will thank you. For the growth AND because you didn’t sacrifice yourself in the process.