Jake Thompson | Keynote Speaker and Mental Performance Coach

How to (Actually) Be Better Than Yesterday

How to be better than yesterday

Do you know who you’re competing with?

Who are you looking toward as your competition? Who do you see on a daily / weekly / monthly basis as your measuring stick, and God help you if you haven’t caught up – or passed – them?

But do you know know you’re most important competition is with? It is not with the person you work with, the friend at the gym, or the stranger you follow on social media.

Your strongest competition is with the person you were yesterday. It’s that face that looks back at you in the mirror every morning and every evening.

A lot of people talk about the importance of being “better than yesterday.” It sounds great, but honestly, what does that look like in the real world?

Contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t look like

  • bases-loaded home runs
  • 99-yard touchdown runs, or
  • “overnight” success.

In reality, it looks like small steps forward, every day. Boring, monotonous, plain steps forward.

It’s 1% progress made.

Newspaper headlines won’t scream “1% BETTER” but if you’re serious about getting better, that’s how you do it.

Because 1% today starts, and then you add 1% tomorrow, and the next day, and next….

Here’s a cool fact: if you do that, every day, in one year you aren’t 365% better. You’re actually exponentially better (thank you compounding interest!)

What does 1% better look like then?

1% is a small number. It’s simple to make a 1% positive adjustment each day – but just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. And simple doesn’t guarantee that everyone will do it. Most won’t – because a 1% change requires being present and intentional in your daily actions. It can look like a number of different things, but here are a few suggestions to get your wheels turning:

  • Create the 5 minutes to journal that you skipped yesterdaywrite 3 things you’re thankful, 3 targets for the day, or 3 lessons you can build on.
  • Push yourself harder in a workout than you did last time. Instead of giving in, this time tell that voice to shut up when it said slow down you’re almost done and instead sprinted to the end.
  • Prepare for that presentation just a little bit more than you did before. When is your next meeting at work or socially? Can you review your notes more thoroughly instead of ‘winging it’ this time?
  • Practice more patience in a (work, social, love) relationship. Bite your tongue when you want to give advice. Take a deep breath when you want to fight. Keep working on that goal when you get anxious and want to quit because it hasn’t been achieved yet.
  • Read 1 chapter of a book that’s collecting dust just sitting on your shelf not being read. You can knock out 30+ books a year if you focus on just 1 chapter a day.

Whatever it looks like, pick one thing and do it just a little bit better than you did today. We all have the ability to be 1% better every day. Most people fail to take advantage of the day (i.e. opportunity) they’re given. Don’t be like most people.

Be a Competitor instead. (I promise, winning tastes better than “what if”).

Do what you can to be a little better than you were last time.

I’m curious – what’s one thing you do every day to build on the previous?

Leave a comment below with your daily action to be better than yesterday!

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