You’ve probably heard the expression “garbage in, garbage out.” The expression relates to computer programming. If your inputs are garbage, your output will be garbage, too.

A similar concept applies more generally in life. If you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out.

Are you putting garbage in?

Are the inputs into your body, mind and spirit garbage or are they objects of value?

Take a look at your friends and family, your activities and your concerns. Do they add value to your life or do they diminish it? Do they lead you to your goal or away from it?

Your friends and family have a large influence over your life. What they concern themselves with rubs off on you. If you want to succeed at your goals, you need to surround yourself with goal-oriented achievers. Avoid people who would rather complain than change things, or would rather watch TV than accomplish a goal. They will have a negative effect on you.

Take time to read. Educating yourself, whether it is closely related to your goal or not, improves your mind and your future. Reading helps to expand your view of the world and your decision-making skills. Invest the time in reading. It’s a good input that yields good outputs.

How else do you spend your time? So much television programming consists of reality shows. On them, phony people create phony controversies in order to manipulate your emotions. Even the news has become a parade of shouting people who create controversy. The effect on the viewer is emotional turmoil and skewed perspectives on the issues. This is a bad input that will bring about bad output. Avoid it.

Are you active on social media? Social media can be a good input or a bad one, depending on how you use it. Staying in touch with friends, promoting your business, following political or social trends, and engaging with groups that share your interests can all be good inputs. But spending too much time on those activities throws your schedule out of balance.

Are you physically active? The physical and emotional benefits of exercise are well known. Even if your goal does not include fitness, it’s always a good idea to schedule a healthy amount of exercise into your life. Exercise has a beneficial impact on everything you do, including achieving your goals. It’s definitely a good input with a good output.

You want to see positive change in your life as a result of achieving a goal. Help that change along by paying attention to the inputs and outputs of your life. Be sure to include lots of good inputs to optimize your output.