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The Top Five Things You Can Learn From Wal-Mart

2) Measure, measure, measure. There are few people, organizations, or businesses on earth that measure their progress as closely as Wal-Mart. No company gives more data to its suppliers or works more closely with them to find ways to reduce the cost of its products. Wal-Mart can not only tell you how well every product is selling in every store across the world, it can tell you in detail how well it’s doing PER SQUARE FOOT of shelf space.

The reason this is relevant is because if you want to change or improve anything in your life, the first step is to figure out a way to measure it. Want to save more money? Chart what you're spending. Want to improve your bench press? Write down your sets and reps. Want to make better use of your time? Chart how you're spending it for a few days. Want to be nicer to your wife? Put together a checklist and note it every time you say something rude, she gets mad, or you compliment her. If you chart it, then you can begin to take steps to measurably improve it.