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Success is Not Something You Achieve in a Day; It’s Something You Practice Daily

Jun 15, 2024

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. That means developing great habits. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time that daily crossing becomes a habit. And ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future.”


                                                                                                         - John Maxwell


We are all creatures of habit. 


When we take a close look at our lives, it is usually easy to see how many of the activities we embark upon each day are nothing more than a continuation of the things we did in the days, weeks and months before. 


Sometimes these habits are positive and lead us to greater growth and expansion. 


However, many times, these habits are behaviors that have continued for large portions of our lives and do not serve us, other than providing us the feeling of security that comes from remaining in our comfort zones. 


I personally think comfort zones can sometimes get a bad rap.  They are not necessarily bad.  When I come home from a long day, I may want to sit in my recliner and read a book, watch ESPN or even take a short nap. 


Providing yourself some comfort can be a good thing.  However, comfort zones are meant to be taken in brief bits of time as a means of rest and recharging, not as a place where we pitch a tent or for that matter, build a four-bedroom house.


Deciding to take action in a new venture or habit often has a way of bringing up feelings fear – fear or commitment, discomfort or disappointing ourselves if we do not follow through. 


The fear of failure, the fear of being exposed and even the fear of success often comes present and as we come out of our comfort zones and commit to our expansion by undertaking new habits designed for our growth an expansion.  When we feel these fears, it can be extremely uncomfortable and paralyzing. 


However, relying completely on feelings of discontent to pass before we take action on forming new and positive habits in our lives is not the path to success.  Or as the famous author Anonymous states,


“Success is not something you achieve in a day; it’s something you practice daily."




As a dedicated student and athletes of the martial arts, I have had plenty of times I did not feel like following through on my habit of regular training.  I have not always felt like stretching, kicking pads, doing forms (classical exercises) or sparring. 


However, I have found that time and time again that simply taking the first step in my training, despite how I was feeling, provided the momentum I needed to not only complete my workout session, but once I did, I actually enjoyed it. 


In fact, I have often experienced that on the days I wanted to train the least, I netted my most productive and enjoyable training sessions.  It was simply about taking the first step, and then another and then another.


I once heard a story of an elderly gentleman who seemed to defy the laws of aging. 


In his early nineties, he still possessed a strong and lean frame with a strong chest, biceps and triceps a teenager would be jealous of.  His legs and back were solid as tree trunks yet flexible and supple.  A full, albeit thinning head of white hair was the only thing that belied his time of life, as he lived with a vibrancy of someone a fifth of his age with a bright smile and a twinkle in his steely blue eyes.


When asked what his secret was for his amazing physical vitality, he matter-of-factly stated,


“I made promise to myself over 70 years ago that each day I would do at least one push-up, one sit-up and one jumping jack.”


The questioner looked puzzled and the old man continued,


“I knew the first one was always the hardest, but if I could just get myself going, the rest would be easier.” 


He had demonstrated the power of positive habits.


Powerful habits taken consistently over time can net massive results, or as author, James Clear writes,


“Small habit don’t add up, they compound.”


So, this week, what are the positive habits that you can commit to and take action on in making them a regular part of your life? 


  • Do they come in the way of committing to daily positive habits regarding your health and wellness through movement and exercise? 
  • Is it pre-planning and preparing your daily meals so you can maximize your nutrition? 
  • Could you add a daily practice of meditation to move deeper into your spiritual development?
  • Could you create and take action on a monthly budget plan that would positively impact your finances?
  • Or, could you get in touch and explore your emotional well-being by undertaking the daily practice of journaling?


The suggestions I mentioned above are most certainly not new information to most of us.  There are plenty of books, articles, talks and programs that teach the concept of creating positive daily habits (I have created several of them, myself 😊). 


But as author Brian Klemmer states in his book by the same name, “If how to’s were enough; we would all be skinny, rich and happy.”


The key is committing to the positive habit and then taking consistent action.  What positive habits are you willing to make a regular part of your daily life?


Chris Natzke

Black Belt Leadership Speaking & Coaching

PS:  I you are looking to learn the principles that can keep you going in times of challenge, go to my new website, www.ChrisNatzke.com and download my FREE REPORTThe Top Ten Big Ideas to Become a Black Belt Leader.


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