A new year is closing in on us. And with it, most of us will decide to make changes in our lives, personal and professional. Despite our best intentions, come February, many of us will decide to wait until next year.

Change is often overwhelming, even when we really want it. We look at where we are and where we want to be and get discouraged. The gap is too wide, too dark, too scary.

If we want progress, rather than looking at where we want to be a month, six months or a year from now, it’s better to look at where we want to be tomorrow. Want to run a 5K this year? Take a 10-minute walk tomorrow. Want to be a better leader? Stop for a minute and have a meaningful conversation with an employee.

Change is more about becoming a stronger person, not a different person. Much like a weightlifter needs to take it day-by-day, targeting each individual muscle and eating the necessary foods; we must strengthen ourselves in similar ways – looking at each day as an opportunity to slowly grow and advance.

Trip Lee once said, “Pressure creates diamonds. Fire refines gold.” But it doesn’t happen overnight. Change isn’t so much about looking forward to where you want to go as it is about looking back and seeing how far you’ve come.