May 18, 2020
What is the power of one hour? One day? One week?
Think about it this way: One day, you will come across the job listing of your dreams. One day, the creative breakthrough you’ve spent years working on will hit you out of nowhere. One day, you meet the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with. One day, you start the first page of your magnum opus. One day, you finish the last.
Everything can change in a day, and the seeds you plant this week can change your life forever. Here, a few reminders of just how much potential exists in any given day:
1. Read a book
Consider that a book you read this weekend could change the way you think about even the smallest aspect of your life, a change in perspective that could literally impact how you behave for decades. What you learn this week could change how you invest, how you behave in your relationships, your empathy, your creativity — anything!
2. Figure out your 1%
Most people fail at their big goals because they try to change their habits all at once, and too drastically. The human body and mind require time to adjust. Rather than decide what you want to change 100%, identify what you can change 1% today. That’s how real transformation occurs — one small gesture at a time.
3. Confront one irrational fear
If you have a fear of the dentist, make an appointment. If your finances stress you out, try one proactive thing that can give you peace of mind, like opening a savings account (even if you don’t put anything in it yet) or digitizing some of your documents for easy access.
4. Declutter one room of your home
You don’t have to Kondo your entire house and become a nordic minimalist to reap the benefits of a clean, organized space. Start with just one room or area of your house, and pick out the excess belongings that you don’t use, don’t care about, and which have only served to create more mess in your space.
5. Make a small investment
Though a one-time contribution to even a high-yielding savings account won’t get you through retirement, by the sheer virtue of compounding interest, if you were to open that account 20 years from now, you’d have significantly more money than you started with. Consider that, and get the momentum going.
6. Automate a savings account
Even if it is just placing an extra $20 into your day-to-day savings every week, over time, this will add up — and often, without you noticing that much. Decide what could work for your budget, and then treat it like any other bill.
7. Learn to cook an easy, healthy meal
Whereas we once had to learn all of our cooking chops from family members, the Internet is filled with great recipes and instructional videos for just about anything you could want to make. Pick something you like that’s cheap, easy, and healthy, and try it out this week. Adding one more staple to your arsenal is not just great for your health and culinary versatility, it’s a money-saver over time.
8. Throw out 100 things
Take a bag and walk through your house and place 100 things that can be discarded into the bag. You will be surprised just how quickly it fills up.
9. Donate 200 things
Similarly, walkthrough and fill a bag with 200 things you can drop off at a donation bin. This can include clothes you haven’t worn in more than a year, anything that doesn’t fit, household items that you haven’t touched in a long time, and could be of better use to someone else. If it’s a struggle to part with some things, try instead boxing them up for a month. If you can remember what’s inside the box in 30 days, you can take it out. Most likely, you won’t remember the majority of it, and therefore, you didn’t really need it in the first place.
10. Pay someone you care about a phone call
One phone call isn’t going to salvage or even maintain a life-long relationship, but it is a start. Be the one to reach out, to check-in, to reconnect with someone you don’t talk to enough (and know you would like to more).
11. Clean up and prep your resume
When the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for comes along, be prepared. Always keep your eyes open, too, and continue networking always. Don’t wait for the day you’re laid off to worry about getting your materials together. There’s so much potential out there — make sure you’re prepared for it.
12. Pick one thing you’re not going to worry about anymore
Here’s the thing: nobody is meant to be everything. And while telling someone to just generally “stop worrying” is usually fruitless, what can help is deciding on one thing you’re just not going to worry about anymore. Maybe it’s being the most stylish person in the room, or putting an excessive amount of energy into maintaining the perfect Instagram account. Whatever it is, choose something that isn’t actively adding to your life, and commit to giving your energy to things that are.
13. Reach out to someone about a new opportunity
Whether it is the chance to speak at a conference, participate in a new project, contribute to a company you admire, or anything else, reach out about just one opportunity you’d like to pursue. It could lead to things you never would have dreamt of — or it can get you into the habit of asking for what you want. Success is a habit, not a gift.