Competition is everywhere. We compete in activities with the goal of being the best. We celebrate when our children get first place in a contest. We cheer our favorite sports teams to victory. We even race to be first into the store on Black Friday. While winning feels great in the moment, I think there is a different prize that is perhaps even more rewarding in the long term: “Most Improved.” Admittedly, this isn’t as flashy as “Best” or “First,” but it actually represents a bigger victory, because:
Improvement requires true personal investment.
You can’t slide your way into “Most Improved.” Natural talent is irrelevant, as is luck. Instead, this distinction is about showing up every day and tenaciously refusing to quit.
Improvement represents progress.
Improvement doesn’t measure where you start or where you stop, but rather the distance between the two points. Few things feel better than looking back and seeing that you have come a long way.
Progress builds confidence.
Confidence soars when we try something we feel uncertain about and then have success. Of course, it is natural to stumble at some points along the way, but whenever we prove to ourselves that we can reach a goal(even a very small goal), it increases our willingness to reach a bit further.
The competition is primarily “in house.”
So often we get caught up in comparing ourselves to others.This can be very discouraging, partly because we never clearly see the insides of other peoples’ lives, and partly because each of us is walking along a unique path. No one is the “best” at everything. We all have strengths and weaknesses. When we pursue “Most Improved,” we can free ourselves from looking around and focus strictly on what we want to achieve.
As we draw to the close of another calendar year, many of us start to think about things we might wish to improve or do differently over the next 12 months. I believe there is validity to the idea of starting fresh everyJanuary 1st. Over the past few years I’ve run a variety of different“Get Organized” challenges in January, such as The Digital Declutter Challenge, Thirty Things to Store and the GO! Challenge. You can access these challenges on my blog at any point – after all, there is never a bad time to get organized!
This year, I’m shifting focus a bit. My goal for January will be to motivate you to achieve whatever goal you may have, be it to simplify, to declutter, to get organized… or to do something completely different. Each day I will be posting an image and a motivating thought, both here and over on my Instagram feed.
Change is difficult. It requires us to shake up existing patterns, try new things and figure out how to overcome pop-up hurdles. We can all use a cheering section, and a reminder that we are not alone as we seek to learn, grow, improve and be healthier. Most of us start off with great intentions and lofty resolutions, but then discard them before the month is over. My desire for “A Month of Motivation” is to help you have a successful experience this year.