"Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a month. We overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade." ~Mathew Kelly "The Long View."
How the hell do we actually make a change in our lives? How do we dig in and make our lives and our health better?
In today's fast-paced world, pursuing personal growth and self-improvement can often feel overwhelming. However, a simple yet powerful principle can transform your life without requiring drastic changes or grandiose ambitions: the 1% rule.
The math game and thought process are relatively simple; you start as a whole 1, and if you increase just .01 (1%) every day at the end of the year, you have moved 37 times bigger than your original 1.
(1.01)^365 = 37.78
However, if you do nothing and stay the same, remaining at 1.00, then nothing changes!
(1.00)^365 = 1.
Now the worst is when entropy and atrophy start to take hold in life; when you actually regress daily (sit on the couch, eat fast food, negative self-talk, etc.), the math will look something like
(1-.01)^365 = (.99)^365 = .025
You would be a shadow of your former self! This is how you can see some people's lives completely unravel in a year.
The 1% rule is based on small improvements in different areas of your life. These improvements can compound over time, resulting in significant progress. By improving just 1% each day for a year, you could be 37 times better than when you started. Consistently achieving small wins boosts confidence and motivation, leading to further growth. Understanding the science behind the 1% rule can help you transform your life sustainably.
Marginal gain refers to making small, incremental improvements in different areas of your life or performance. This principle believes that these minor enhancements will accumulate and lead to significant overall progress. Sir Dave Brailsford, the former performance director of British Cycling, popularized this concept in sports. By embracing this idea, he transformed the British cycling team into a dominant force. The goal is to identify areas where you can make tiny improvements and consistently work on them. Over time, these seemingly insignificant adjustments can synergize and contribute to substantial positive change. By applying the concept of marginal gains to your daily life, you can harness the power of minor progressions to achieve your long-term goals and unlock your full potential.
The compound effect can drive personal growth when used correctly. It involves making small, consistent improvements that accumulate over time. Even tiny improvements made daily can lead to exponential growth. This concept is similar to compound interest in finance. Incrementally improving benefits creates a snowball effect that accelerates personal development. Making the compound effect a part of your daily routine unlocks lasting and transformative growth.
Small wins are essential for maintaining motivation and self-confidence during personal growth. Celebrating incremental improvements provides psychological benefits, contributing to a positive feedback loop. Regularly achieving small goals boosts self-efficacy, increasing self-confidence to pursue larger goals. Consistent progress maintains motivation, offering a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Incremental successes build resilience and grit, reinforcing that persistence pays off in the long run. Recognizing and embracing the psychological benefits of small wins creates a sustainable cycle of personal growth and improvement.
The 1% rule can help you grow personally in different areas of your life. In terms of your well-being, small changes in your exercise routine, nutrition habits, and sleep patterns can be significant. For personal finance, saving and investing even a tiny percentage of your income and adjusting your budget can accumulate wealth over time. For personal development, dedicating a portion of your day to learning, improving time management, and adopting a growth mindset can lead you toward success. Lastly, focusing on communication skills, empathy, and spending quality time with your loved ones can strengthen your bonds in relationships. Applying the 1% rule in every aspect of your life can achieve holistic transformation, leading you toward greater happiness and fulfillment.
For me, it is simple. I focus on 4 major domains:
Body - How I fuel it and Exercise
Being - How I connect with myself and my God
Balance - How I connect with My Wife and Kids
Business - How I learn something and teach something every day!
I keep each one of those simple as hell!
For my body, did I move/stretch/ or work out today, and did I drink a green drink? If I did, it was two small wins... I didn't have to do 3 hours of CrossFit and eat a macro-based vegan diet. They are straightforward checks that clear up the box of caring for my body.
For my Being, did I meditate, listen to God? and do I spend time working on my bs stories and planning my day by journaling?
For Balance, did I tell Erin, the kids, or other friends how much I love, appreciate, and honor them?
For Business, did I learn something that I can teach, and did I teach something?
Now that all is a hell of a lot more than 1% more every day, but I had to build up to that over years and years. And I still need to improve at it; they are, at best, very rudimentary frameworks. They make me a better man!
My question is, what are you doing this week to make yourself even just 1% better?
If you want to get better, and most of us do, then you have to start making a plan! Start on a Sunday and plan to walk the dogs or go for an evening walk with your significant other! Boom! There is your Exercise check; now, do that every day for the next year!
You get the idea!
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