If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (my personal accounts, not the @DanDailyReader accounts which I hope you’re following anyway), you’ll know that I was in Chicago last week. My personal handles on both are simple: @DeryleDanielsJr. Anyway, while in Chicago, my fraternity brother, financial advisor, and close friend, George Acheampong, was in town and we ended up getting together one evening for dinner and a couple drinks. Since I moved from Charlotte, we haven’t been able to get together as regularly as I’d like but this was the perfect time to connect because we both came to the city on business and we were both alone. (By the way, I don’t believe in coincidences.)
Over drinks, GA and I were talking and we discussed reading. He said he finishes a book a week. Now, I know how busy this guy is and I did not see how he did that because he is always on the move. But he said that, like anything else in life, it’s not about one big decision to read a book. Instead, he makes several small decisions every day to get through the book of the week. George reads 2-3 pages every hour that he is awake. At a conservative 16 hours each day, that’s 224 pages (assuming 2 as opposed to 3 pages). George puts the same practice into play when advising me on my finances. Retirement isn’t putting away $5,000 each year at one time. It’s putting away $100 each week that, in 20 years, will grow to $100,000 before interest. Now, get married, and multiply that $100 to $300. Then, 10 years down the line, when your student loans are paid off, up that $300 to $700. You see how success works?
So, this week, I challenge you to start a new habit that will set you up for success. Want to write a book? Write a page a day. Just a page. Want to read a book? Read 2 pages an hour. Want to lose 15 pounds? Shoot for a pound a week. We can do anything we set our minds to but we cannot do it all at once. Be patient. Set goals. And know that you are just as able as anyone else who has done it.
Everyone, do this for me this week: Take a picture of you working toward your goal and post it on Twitter or Instagram, mentioning @DanDailyReader and using the hashtag #SmallThingsChallenge. It can be to eat a bit healthier, read a bit more, or fill out 5 more job applications each week. I just want folks to know that they, too, can do it.
Make professional development a priority.