Updated: Mar 27, 2019
“Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”
I was once asked the question: “If you were to improve yourself by just 1% each day how much better would you be in a year?”
My answer was, “Oh 365 times better of course.” (Duh, that’s how many days there are in a year.)
My friend than explained that because of compounding I would in fact be 3800% better by the end of the year.
Conversely, if you were to become 1% worse each day you would lose 97% of your value each year.
Sometimes focusing on the big goal will overwhelm us into inactivity.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t set goals for yourself. Short and long term goals are vital to keep you on track, but when it comes to something as long term as self improvement, fitness, or savings; the enormity of our goals can become overwhelming. Your goals stare back at you in the darkness, looming over you until you assume the fetal position and decide it would be just as well to continue in your old ways.
Big goals are inspiring, motivating, for a time, until the weight of the huge goal pushes you down into the earth. You know why it’s dragging you down? Why the goal becomes such a fear-envoking thing? Because just like many awe-inspiring things (the Grand-Canyon, Volcanoes, Craters) they can swallow you.
The 1% rule to improvement stops your dreams and goals from drowning you. When you make the decision to be 1% better each day you will reach whatever it is you’re working towards. It will take time, it might be a long time, but you will reach it.
We dismiss small changes because we don’t see the immediate benefit in our lives. Making the choice to be 1% better today and every day might seem insignificant at the time but being 1% better each day is the path to success.
The outcome of your life is the result of small choices each day. Are you making the decisions that are moving you in the direction you want to go? Are you striving to be 1% better each day?