When we complete yet another trip around the sun, many of us plan New Year’s resolutions to make our lives better. We set ambitious goals of exercising, eating healthy, expanding our knowledge, and so on. Of course, many of us end up failing these resolutions.

Why? Because we are too focused on our overly ambitious goals and not enough on the path to achieve them. What if we skipped the resolutions and instead established a practice of betterment in our lives? By incessantly improving and desiring to make things better, we consequently benefit from the constant law of accelerating change, continually furthering our improvement throughout our evolution. In other words, we’d likely find ourselves improving at a faster pace since practicing betterment in small doses builds upon itself.

Betterment Has a Lasting Effect

But what about betterment on a more macro scale? How can betterment be seen when it affects the bigger picture?

Email conversations were revolutionized when Google introduced the concept of “threading” conversations within the same topic. Until then, reading replies in emails was a fragmented experience due to the disjoint between the context of the overall message and its individual responses.

With the onset of touch screen devices, using a phone in the cold was difficult, particularly if you had gloves on. The concept of magic gloves with conductive yarn finger tips gave users access to using their touch screen devices again without having to suffer from the cold.

Kickstarter is a pool of innovation, where people have continually proposed ideas that remove the friction in our daily lives. The Cosmonaut, a wide-grip stylus examined the friction a user experienced when sketching out ideas on a tablet. They compared the experience of writing on a tablet to writing on a dry erase board because it was “fast, simple, and low fidelity,” and in turn created a wide-grip stylus that mimicked the experience of using a dry erase marker.

Betterment has lasting effects and can forever build upon itself. If you make something better today, it will inadvertently influence and sway the possibilities of future things that it comes into contact with. So why not actively try to make things better? Why not be in a constant state of iterations until all friction at that point in time has been removed?

Design Better

These questions have always had a presence in our daily routine; only now, we’re bringing them into the spotlight with an eye to design. Design is a powerful method of betterment. It’s not about making things look good; it’s not about satisfying a client; it’s not even about a simple aesthetic value. It’s about removing friction and making things better.

Whether it’s through the individual improvement of workflows, the iterative polishing of products, or simply making an office a better work environment, making small pools of effort in the name of betterment pays off. Take a look at your daily routine and see where there’s friction that you can resolve. For example, if you find yourself misplacing your keys every morning, try putting a “Very Important Things” box at your front door that you can drop your keys in every evening. It only takes a small tweak to set betterment in motion. So what are you waiting for? Get better today!

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