How to improve at anything you want

Climbing - incremental improvement over time
Belaying my son in Agiofarago (Valley of the saints) in Crete

Establish your price/investment 

Sitting down to write this post, I thought of my climbing hobby. This simple system can work for anything you decide you want to achieve in life. 

It’s simple and is based on a very well-known secret:

“Everything has a price.” Anything you want to achieve in life has a price you are willing to pay. I’d call it an investment. There are sacrifices to be made, for example, with my climbing: I need to dedicate time for learning and practice, the price is often time away from my family, pains and aches a day after the outdoor climbing, a lot of practice at home at finger strengthening, footwork, climbing techniques, knots, etc. 

Material costs of shoes, ropes, carabiners,  harnesses, and other gear and devices needed to improve. Good instructors, courses, finding climbing partners, and much more.

This is a selection of the main price/investment categories I am willing to pay to become a better climber.

To accomplish any goal you set for yourself, you need to assess the investment or sacrifices you’ll have to make to get to it. 

You set your goals – but it’s also vital at the same time to try and be as accurate as possible about the investment required and sacrifices you agree and intend to make to get to them. 

You establish your goals and the prices you’re willing to pay. That’s the first step.

Establish your rewards along the way

To be able to sustain your journey towards your goal, assuming it may take time and be a long process, you need to establish your reward system too. 

My point is that only sacrificing for a future goal for a long time is hard. That’s ok, we can do hard things. Sometimes, doing the hard thing is its own reward, it definitely is an aspect of climbing. What I find highly effective, though, is to establish a reward system that correlates in a certain way to the prices you pay or the sacrifices you make along the way. 

The reason is that it will sustain your endurance towards realizing your goal. 

You not only give out energy, money, or time, but you also get it back relative to your investment. 

For example, being away from my family when I am out climbing makes me enjoy more time with them before or after my climbing expeditions. I make a point of it, and that’s a reward I get for the sacrifice I made in time away from them. That’s a clear, direct reward. 

What kind of rewards should you give yourself?

Rewards can be anything you give yourself that fills you with positive energy, joy, love, fun, and delight and correlates to your efforts towards achieving your goals.

The basic premise here is that if you invest in becoming a better person, you deserve a reward. 

It’s a long-term investment that may have its rewards far in the future, so a system that relates to it needs to be created for small rewards along the way to sustain your motivation to persist. 

That’s how I do it, improve at anything I want. You can try it too or…

Please give us any of your own original ideas in the comments below.

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  • Eviatar Nevo

    Dear Orit,
    I am not against outside rewards but deeply believe that the utmost immeadiate and most imortant reward is your inner happiness and delight that you achieved the goal and overcame the challenge. For example after successfully you climbed the vcertical wall in the photo above.
    Much Love, DAD

    • Orit Nevo

      Definitely, but sometimes it takes a long time, and finding small rewards on the way, can keep you on track.
      These rewards you give yourself are also the acknowledgment that you're on the right way, it's important to acknowledge even small progress.

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