A Small Notepad is a Self-Improvement Powerhouse

I think a simple notepad is one of the most powerful self-improvement tools in existence when used to log an activity. Logging the activity creates awareness. Awareness is the first step in changing behavior. It is the first step toward transformation. When you log an activity, you become more mindful of your decisions, big and small.

Often it is the small, seemingly insignificant decisions that are sabotaging our success. Eating that cookie in the break room, losing valuable time by allowing yourself to become distracted while working on something important, skipping a workout, or staying up late watching TV instead of getting a good night’s sleep. Anyone of these decisions by themselves aren’t devastating, but their accumulated effects are. Whatever it is you want to improve, your time management, your leadership, your relationships, your business, your eating patterns, your exercise consistency, or your spending.

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Be relentless. Track everything related to the behavior you want to improve. Awareness is the first step toward transformation. Bad habits are the result of neglect. Mindfulness prevents us from mindlessly doing things that are sabotaging us.

I am a firm believer in Peter Drucker’s management principle “What gets measured gets managed.” Anyone that has ever kept a financial spending log or food log knows that they changed their spending or eating behavior when they kept a record of the activity. When you monitor activity, you naturally become more mindful of your choices. You automatically modify your behavior and make better decisions. It is so simple to understand, I am always amazed how many people don’t use it to improve their personal or professional performance.

“What gets measured gets managed. If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.” – Peter Drucker

If you really want to change a behavior track it for at least a week, a month would be even better, two months optimal. Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant often said “If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.” Everything and anything you want to improve can be measurable. You might think some things can’t be measured, like building employee loyalty, but I would argue it can. If a leader wants to build loyalty in their organization, they could decide that twice a week they are going to visit two employees whose managers say they have been doing a great job and paying them a compliment for their excellent work. She could then inquire as to how they are doing and ask if there are any resources they need, including training, to help them be even more effective. Tracking her consistency would be the lead indicators, and quarterly feedback from culture surveys would be the lag indicator. Loyalty is a two-way street. Showing employees that the leadership values their contribution, and is committed to their professional development is how you earn loyalty.

If we are serious about improving any area of our life, we should use a simple notepad to track the behavior. Awareness is the first step in transformation.

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but intentional habits keep moving towards our goals. Change your habits, change your life!

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Best wishes and Best Health!

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