Embracing Incremental Improvement

Have you ever run into someone you haven’t seen for a while, and they tell you how much you’ve changed? You don’t think anything is different, but to them it’s drastic. Because we see ourselves every day, we don’t notice incremental improvement.

One of the things I like about bullet journaling is the ability to see change over time. If I have set things up correctly, and am tracking things properly, I can see progress. It doesn’t matter if it’s a habit I want to build, a project I’m working on, or not breaking the chain on my daily word count. I have the ability to go back and look at where I started. Comparing that point to the present can be dramatic.

Embracing Incremental Improvement

Incremental improvements are better than drastic changes for a number of reasons. First, they’re less traumatic. If you’ve ever been forced to change the time you go to bed and wake up, you understand. Every person who has tried to quit something cold turkey knows what I’m talking about. You’re not physically or mentally prepared for that kind of abruptness.

Drastic changes also don’t stick. It’s easier to revert to old patterns of behavior. New projects fall by the wayside. Part of it is because they’re hard. They don’t fit with the established flow of your life. It’s disruptive to everything else, not just the thing you want to do or not do.

The downside, of course, is that we want it now. We’ve been raised in a culture of immediate gratification. No one wants to invest the time, put in the hard work, and wait for something good to happen. The thing is, though, that we don’t appreciate things that come easy. When we have to make sacrifices, struggle, and have patience, we’re more likely to cherish the results. We’re less likely to backslide, because we don’t want to invalidate the progress we’ve made. Most importantly, we gain a sense of accomplishment, because we feel that we’ve earned the results.

no responses for Embracing Incremental Improvement

    Comments may be held for moderation.