It’s all too easy to confuse progress with outcomes. Even nurse practitioners can make the mistake of setting some large, insurmountable goal like earning $1 million dollars a year in net income or mastering a new skill in a matter of weeks. But when something is too far out of reach, it can prevent you from taking the next step towards things like starting your niche practice, diversifying your income streams, or even investing. Because remember, a good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed later (or never).
What if there was an alternate approach? What if instead of focusing on the outcome, all you did was try to be a tiny bit better than you were the day before?
This is a path suggested by self-improvement guru James Clear. In his New York Times bestseller “Atomic Habits”, Clear describes how self-improvement comes from compounding small improvements each day:
“If you can get one percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get one percent worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero.”
Basically, if you make a focused effort to learn one new thing daily or take a particular action in getting your business started, then you will become a more proficient nurse practitioner or even finally get your side hustle up and running!
On the other hand, if you fail to improve yourself or get into nasty habits, then you will decline slowly but surely.
Surprisingly, the logic behind the claim of getting 1% better each day is no different than the reason why people get rich from investing over long periods of time: compound interest.
Here’s the simple math behind this claim: 1.01^(365) = 37.78
Just like how money builds upon money by investing it appropriately, yesterday’s good habits become the foundation for better ones today. As Clear writes, “habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”
As much as I encourage you to take advantage of compound interest and leverage time to build your finances, don’t forget to also take this opportunity to do the same with your habits. START DOING SOMETHING NEW every day that will make you more successful in your nurse practitioner career. The more small gains you make, the greater your self-equity will become and you will accelerate your path to financial freedom. I know this has worked for me, so I KNOW it will work for you!