I wrote yesterday about the concept of NonZero Days and how they impact motivation—how making one small step towards a goal every day can affect your overall outlook. Essentially, motivation is enhanced by increasing self-respect and decreasing guilt, stress, and self-loathing. NonZero Days move you forward instead of backward, and they save time—the time you might otherwise have wasted feeling embarrassed or ashamed or self-hating.
The rule goes like this: The better you feel, the better you’ll feel. The worse you feel, the worse you’ll feel. So, doing even one tiny thing to set things back in the right direction, ultimately, is a monumental achievement. You’re no longer slipping backward or swirling down a drain. You’re taking steps, not losing ground. NonZero Days change the course of your life while helping you feel better about yourself.
Today, I want to talk about making each day, every day, a NonZero Day. If you’re a perfectionist, you might find yourself paralyzed by the fear of not doing an impeccable job of any one thing, which keeps you from getting anything done at all. If you’re a self-sabotager, you might find yourself fatalistically listing all of the reasons why one small thing can never really make any difference anyway.
What to do: Forgive yourself for flawed attempts. Forgive yourself for not achieving things at a level of enormous volume.
Congratulate yourself for your actual efforts. This doesn’t mean you can’t take a vacation or enjoy a day off. Perhaps it means engaging in one particular activity each day during your vacation (snorkeling? parasailing? line dancing?) can move you toward your goal of, for example, trying new things more often. You might listen to an audiofile that teaches you one new word per day to improve your vocabulary. Or you could intentionally prepare one home-cooked, healthy meal per day to improve your nutrition.
Whatever your goal is, the goal is never on the shelf. Every day moves you at least the slightest bit forward. And every movement forward creates momentum of its own.
I intend to make today, and each day hereafter, a NonZero Day. Will you join me?