Change vs. Progress: Making the Choices That Move You Forward

One of the biggest challenges in today’s society is learning how to balance all of the different areas of our lives. A hundred years ago, life seemed simpler because people’s roles seemed more defined. Today, the world is much less predictable. The unspoken expectation is that in order to be a thriving, contributing, happy and successful member of society, we must be multidimensional at work and at home. Within our businesses, we must be able to manage and lead, create relationships with other team members, use technology to communicate, effectively manage costs, and work at lightning speed to stay ahead of the competition.

Similarly, in our personal lives, we must strive to be healthy in body and spirit, while also being a generous partner, an outstanding parent, an effective financier, a romantic lover, a best friend and a community leader. We live in a world where change is the order of the day. The challenge is that we sometimes forget the meaning of the change we’re striving to create.

Change is automatic, but progress is not. We are changing as a society, but are we really progressing in all the areas that matter most? And in our own lives, are we truly making progress in all the areas that are important to us?

Progress is the result of conscious choice. In making these choices, we must think beyond the moment and ask ourselves, “What will this choice ultimately create in my life? Where will it lead? Who will I become as a result?” To ensure you’re making choices that support you, you must first define the areas of life that are important to you and what you want from each one, before you create a plan for your time. Otherwise, how can you create a plan for your time if you don’t have a plan for your life? By doing this, you’ll stay focused on what you want to achieve, so you can experience true balance and efficiency.

These areas are called “Categories of Improvement.” They represent the areas of your life you want to continually focus on, measure and improve. These areas are so important that if they do not improve, the quality of your life will suffer; and conversely, if they do improve, you’ll become more successful and fulfilled than you ever imagined.

Categories of Improvement

1. Physical Health & Vitality
2. Emotional Strength
3. Family & Relationships
4. Financial Freedom
5. Spiritual Growth
6. Community Support
7. Outstanding Career

EXAMPLE: Time & Life Action Plan
1. What areas of your life are changing—but not progressing?
2. What are your main Categories of Improvement for your life? (see example above)
3. What are 1-2 results you are committed to achieve in each of your Categories of Improvement (i.e. “Lose 10lbs and keep it off” under the Category “Physical Health & Vitality”)?

Use the PEAK PERFORMANCE: 60 to get a better understanding of the choices you want to make in life: learn more at

“Tony Robbins provides an amazing vehicle for looking at your life, mapping out a mission, and determining what’s holding you back and what you need to move forward. Tony tapped into my soul and helped me see my life’s work more clearly.”
—Donna Karan, Legendary Fashion Designer


  1. Just read this article and saw the bit at the bottom about the hour of power… and it just reminded me that I’ve been doing my hour of power for about 7 years now… wow… and I completely forgot that I started doing it because I got one of your courses Tony. I have to do my hour of power for an hour every single day and I hate it when I miss it. My hour of power has got me through the best and the toughest times in the last 7 years and I would never EVER stop doing it… just forgot the reason I started in the first place…. Thanks, thanks, thanks!!!

    Laura Chattington - on August 17th 2013
  2. Excellent article. It is so important to establish and regularly monitor our “categories of improvement” to ensure that we are moving in the right direction in our personal and professional lives.

    Karlsrule Consulting on July 24th 2013
  3. Hi Tony,

    I am so grateful for this “Hour of Power”. Thank you! Thank you! :)

    …thank you for sharing wisdom, insights and experience in building momentum for empowering states!

    … thank you for doing what you do!

    Becky West on July 23rd 2013
  4. Am a Nigerian based in Lagos,am into real estate business,I av my own company bt is not growing the way I want it,though I make money bt I want to make more money,what can I do to make me more unique in my business world?thx.

    Kowe dele Samuel on July 22nd 2013
  5. I am a Dentist and want to improve my capacita to treat moré patients a day but I tend to talk to much with my patients to establish some empathy with them so they feel not confidence in telling me moré of what they are expecting and have moré comunicación in case of any doubt a about their Dental treatment is this plan diminishing my capacity to deliver what they expect from their treatment or should I speak less and start right away with their treatment. And what else can I do to be moré productive when the patient is in the dental Chair ?

    Francisco Gerardo Reyes Acevedo on July 14th 2013

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