Day 6 – Do 1% Better Today (And Every Day)

31-days-to-your-financial-future_3

Hey! We’re almost done with the first week of 31 Days To Your Financial Future! How is your month going? Did you miss the earlier posts in this series? Here’s a quick recap:

Today’s topic is a special one, because today’s topic is really the heart of this entire month-long project. Today’s task: Do 1% Better.

Every Day Is A Chance To Improve

I’m going to tell you a secret about financial success. Success doesn’t happen after your next raise or promotion. It doesn’t happen after you pay off your debt. It doesn’t happen when you launch your own business, or finally close on the home of your dreams. It happens every single day. The rest of your life is an aggregate of every single effort you make to improve the way you manage your money.

When asked what spurred him to create a scholarship program for youth in Bexar County, Texas, NBA player Tim Duncan had this to say:

When I was a kid my mom used to have us recite this nursery rhyme before bed:

Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest,
Until your Good is Better, and your Better is your Best.

Let’s do something better today.

If You Can Do Something, You Can Do One More

I’m not a very athletic guy. I weighed 330lbs in December. I’ve been overweight all my life, and it wasn’t until my health started to scare me that I got serious about fixing it.

I started going to the gym, but the first few days were so hard, I wanted to give up. I’m sitting there on a stationary bike, six minutes in and feeling like crap. My legs are burning. I’m sweating like a pig in a sauna. My heart is pounding in my head and I feel like I can’t breathe. I want so bad to give up, when the thought pops into my head: “Screw this. If you can do six, you can do seven.

I knew I had already accomplished six minutes on that bike. My muscles did that, even if they didn’t yet realize they wanted to. If they could do six, was I going to let them tell me they couldn’t do just one more?

So I did seven minutes.

The next time I went to the gym, I set my new goal at seven. I knew I’d done seven yesterday. I could do seven today. And when I got almost there, I started feeling that same despair. Everything hurt. I didn’t want to keep going. I told myself “If you can do seven, you can do eight.”

So I did eight. And then I did nine, because I started telling myself, “If you can do eight, you can do nine.”

(3 months later, I’ve lost a pound a week. I’m at 318lbs now.)

One more. One better.

One more. One better.

The same thing applies to your personal finance. If you can pay $100 on your debt this month, you can probably pay $101. If you can make 10 sales today, you can make 11. If you can save $50 on your groceries with coupons, you can probably save $51. If you can invest $4000 this year, you can probably invest $4100.

Financial success doesn’t happen overnight

Don’t chase after people who “made it big.” Very few people win the lottery. Most people won’t sell a million copies of a hit app. Most people won’t become famous movie stars or rappers or athletes. And let’s be honest — the ones who do rarely hold on to their wealth. It vanishes, because that kind of success is often fleeting and requires huge spending to keep up appearances.

Real success comes from daily effort.

It comes from the effort to develop good financial habits and break bad ones. It comes from daily study, reflection, and thought to make the best financial decisions possible. It comes from doing until it hurts, and then doing just one more.

One extra payment. One hour of overtime. One more client. One more sale. One more dollar earned, one more dollar saved, one more dollar invested. That’s all it takes. One more.

If you do that, if you push yourself every single day to make one better financial decision than you did the day before, I guarantee you will earn more money. I guarantee you will get out of debt. I guarantee you will be able to fund your dreams. But if you want that, you’ve got to do one better, and you need to start today.

Tomorrow: Practice A Skill That Will Earn You More Money

I’ve got two-for-one-deal for you tomorrow! Tomorrow, right here at Stop Worrying About Money, we’ll continue 31 Days To Your Financial Future. We’ll be exploring some ways to polish up those marketable skills, so you can excel in your career and make more money.

To tie in with that, I’m also guest posting over at Madam Money, where I’ll be showing you how to earn $1000 more every month in just one hour a day. You won’t want to miss it!

What motivates you to do better?

Do you use any tricks or mantras to motivate yourself to do better? What are they? Tell us in the comments!

Photo by Jamie Jamieson.

Click here to read Day 7!
Posted in 31 Days To Your Financial Future
5 comments on “Day 6 – Do 1% Better Today (And Every Day)
  1. Little Miss Money says:

    I like the idea of trying to do a little better every day. That’s definitely something I’d apply to my running schedule to build up to running a 5 or 10K.
    I like the mantra “every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” – originally in French by Emile Coue.

  2. Syed says:

    Very good and motivating article. I sometimes find myself questioning what I’m doing when I want to increase my 401k contribution. But I know if I can increase it by 1%, it will only help me and my family in the future. I will go do that right now actually.

    Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  3. Good read and an even better attitude!

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