24 Sep

Improvement is a universal theme. We all want to be better… to do better. We want our business to improve and we want our personal lives to improve. The question becomes, “How do I make that happen?”

1. Plan

The first step along the path to improvement is to plan. Decide where you or your business needs to improve. Set goals you want to reach to indicate you have achieved these improvements. Plan out the steps you need to accomplish to make each improvement happen. Decide on a plan of action to reach your goals.

Anthony Robbins puts it this way, Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards. When people ask me what really changed my life, I tell them that absolutely the most important thing was changing what I demanded of myself. I wrote down all the things I would no longer accept in my life, all the things I would no longer tolerate, and all the things that I aspired to becoming.”

Study people who have the traits you wish to gain for yourself or whose businesses have attained the success you want for your own. Robbins suggests, If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”

2. Do

Nothing will happen until you act. We can all dream about the people we want to become or the massive success we want our business to be but, until we act, that is what they will remain….dreams.

And we must repeat the actions we have decided to take over and over again until they replace the old habits that have been holding us back. Improvement takes work. It also takes time. Most of us and most of our businesses need improvement in more than one area. We must take small steps along the path to improvement every day to reach our goals.

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden put it this way, “When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens—and when it happens, it lasts.”

3. Study

In all likelihood, the steps we decided on in our plan will need adjusting. As you begin to work your plan and make small progress towards your goals, you will uncover new areas that need improvement and/or new and better paths to reaching your goal. You need to consistently reassess both the improvements you are trying to make and the paths you have chosen to try to reach those goals.

“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” –Og Mandino

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Ken Blanchard

4. Act

Adjust the steps along your path to improvement or even the path you are taking as you learn more. Be prepared to adjust as knowledge and circumstances change. No single plan has worked since it was first devised since the 10 Commandments. Don’t get locked into one strategy and fail to adjust as things change around you. Be constantly evaluating your plan and making the adjustments necessary to keep you on the right path towards your improvement goals.

You will experience setbacks along your way. If you give up, you will not improve. It is in dealing with these setbacks that you are forced to use knowledge and talents you did not think you had and this is how you improve. Baseball legend Reggie Jackson said, “I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.” Conrad Hilton put it this way, “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

Plan, Do, Study, Act. Follow these steps and find your path to the improvements you seek for yourself and for your business. Find the people and businesses who you want to be more like and study their path to success. Adopt those changes into your life and plan how to reach those goals. Follow these steps everyday that will lead to the success you dream of. You and your business can improve beyond your wildest dreams.

Remember –

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle