I have never been a particularly long-term planner. Nowadays, perhaps even moreso, I try to focus on the micro (the next month, the next week, even just the next few days). I believe in having a long-term compass, a set of values that guide my decisions and tendencies, but not having specific long-term goals.

I also recognize, though, that this is what I believe, and not what aligns with everyone else’s lifestyles. So I make no effort to convince you to stop making 10 year plans…rather…I try to advocate to think for yourself and make your own life! 

This essay circles back to my “short-term thinking mindset,” and hopes to explain the radical effectiveness of just trying to accomplish one thing a day. 

Accomplishing just one thing…even a small thing…can radically change your day, your week, and, over a long period of time, your life. 

I write every day because I believe it is important to me. So my goal…every single morning…is to hit publish. I have been doing that every single day for over 2.5 years. And I can tell you…ignoring the quality of my writing, that even the act of just doing one thing that gives you energy pays massive dividends. 

I think we always buy into these very complicated recipes for reaching a fairy-tale mountain top of success. Follow these 18 steps..Wake up at 4am…Read 9 books.

Okay those may work for some people.

But for me…and some of the most highly productive people that I talk to…all of that fluff just covers the reality.

The reality is that you just have to do. Big things start small.

And they start…often…by just doing one thing a day.

Accomplish one thing today. 

Go to the gym. Hit publish. Email a friend. Do something! 

Many of us collect massive to-do lists of tasks that we try and get done every day. Those are good…but let’s make a list of doing things for ourselves! One thing…every day. 

One investment in ourselves. Be selfish! Do something for you that you want to do. 


Also published on Medium.