OK, we all know it.  Times are challenging, the economy is not what we wish it was, and just about everyone I know has had it beyond ‘up to here’ with all the negative political ads.

But today is a new day and so is tomorrow and so is the next day.  And on each of those days, and the ones that follow, you have a choice.  You can either join the whiners, complainers, and worriers, OR you can decide to be the one who swims against the tide.

Here’s an easy way to do just that.

Every day make a commitment to ask and answer this question: What Can I Improve Today?

Long-term success is seldom the result of huge changes or massive programs.  It comes more from small steps taken every day and repeated over time.

When you commit to improving something every day, you will develop a powerful habit, a winning perspective, and you will begin to slowly but surely improve your credit union.  And that is what will lead to long term success for you and your team.

ACTION ADVICE: Start today by asking and answering the question: What Can I Improve Today?  Teach everyone on your team to do the same.  Focus on making the small incremental improvements that require no approvals, no discussion, no debate, and no committees.  Try it for 21 days and you’ll see a dramatic impact–one that will encourage you to continue the process and make it part of your routine.

Ideas to get you started…No doubt as you think about this you find yourself wondering where to start.  Here are five quick ideas you might consider:

1. Improve the attitude of an employee by catching them doing something right and letting them know you appreciate it.

2. Improve your personal efficiency by taking five minutes to set up the files you need in your e-mail system that will make it easier for you to file and track communications about specific subjects.

3. Move that trash can, file cabinet, table, desk, or whatever it is that you have been thinking about moving for a long time, but just never get around to moving.

4. Create a new spreadsheet where you track the little things that need to be improved so that you always have a place to capture your ideas and a place to go to find one to tackle when nothing comes to mind on a given day.

5. Fix something that is broken or call someone in to fix it.  There are often lots of little things around the office or the branch that need minor fixes that everyone knows about, but no one owns.  Be the one who takes ownership and takes care of it.