Success in any area takes time and discipline.
Why discipline? Because you should be seeking to improve every day, if even ever so slightly, to move yourself towards your goal.
An anecdote from my personal experience, I picked up my first DSLR camera last summer, not having the first clue about how to use it to shoot photos. However, I had a burning curiosity to learn how to create engaging visuals. I thought that a successful marketer should be able to convey a message through both the written word and a well-composed visual.
So I plugged away at it. With various impromptu photo shoots, lugging my camera halfway around the world to test out my wide angle lens. With every photo I shot I was getting better at working with light, at photo composition, at engaging my photography subjects. Almost a year after getting my first camera, I can proudly say that my photos are now sought after creations by international clients.
Tracking my daily progress would have increased my growth and learning pace, putting me into a habit of following a schedule to advance my skills each day. We are all creatures of habit, so once we get into a habit of doing something daily for more than three weeks, it becomes easier for us to upkeep the habit. If I was investing time to improve my skills every day, it is better than if I did one photo shoot every month.
The book I am currently reading, The Compound Effect by Success Magazine Founder Darren Hardy, talks extensively about how we can establish positive habits to get us ever closer to success. He encourages his readers to pick up a notebook to track their stats and commitment to their goals. Imagine if your goal was to cut back on carbs, starting with no carbs in the evening. Each day you would have to record what you eat for each meal in your notebook. We get lazy about tracking anything in our lives now, but you would be surprised at how much more it helps me adhere to my goals.
Whether you want to save money, change your eating habits, improve your work performance, it all starts with CONSCIOUS effort to improve every day. Go out and get that notebook to start tracking today and be patient, as results take time, it won't happen overnight.
Start with something easy. If you want to cultivate a habit of reading every day, start with reading 5 pages every day, and build up that number over time. Over the course of two to three months you would be surprised to discover that all of a sudden you are reading twenty to thirty pages a day without you even noticing the leap forward.
Slow and easy wins the race.