Improvement is all about experimentation, whether it's in the realm of productivity, personal finance, health, or anything else. Even if you ultimately fail, you'll probably have learned something.
You've probably heard "don't be afraid of failure" before, but Budgets Are Sexy takes this lesson and brings it down to the little micro-experiments we run all the time. Maybe it's the 52 week money challenge, or maybe it's attempting to wake up a half hour earlier. Even if these experiments fail after a few weeks or months, you probably still got something out of it — whether it was a few extra bucks in your bank account or the knowledge that dammit, you need your sleep.
As Budgets Are Sexy puts it, "Experimentation = Taking Action = Growth":
I've also experimented with paying off my mortgage faster (worked for a year then crashed and burned), collecting small bills to save more (lasted 3 months?), going on No Spend months (best experiment ever!), being better with charity (ran a project that gave out $US90,000 in 12 months) and even tracking every dollar spent on my baby (worked until baby #2 came along). As you can see I haven't always succeeded in the end, but you can bet your sweet arse that I'm better for having tried. Because unlike only taking away knowledge with money experimenting, you usually happen to walk away with an extra dollar in your pocket too :) So it's really win-win all around.
So don't save your experiments for New Year's resolutions. Try adopting a new small habit now — if it works, you've improved your life a little bit. If not, you've at least taken a step toward doing so.
Become a Mad Scientist w/ Your $US$US$US [Budgets Are Sexy]