Friday, March 11, 2016

All you need to do is get 1% better

Even though this is somewhat of a personal finance blog, I often spend a lot of time thinking about how to grow other areas of my life as well. When I read this outstanding article by James Clear on how one coach began making small changes that eventually won Britain their first Tour-de-France title, I then began to think about how the "1% rule" could apply to my own life.

The 1% principle basically states that if you seek to continually get better in small ways, in a variety of areas, eventually those small changes will lead to a large gain in your life.

Similarly, getting 1% worse can have pretty bad effects over the course of time.

We still have a long way to go on our debt, and there are days and even months where it feels like a game of Chutes and Ladders. Sometimes it's our fault, many times it's just life and the expenses of owning a home or having four children. But that said, committing to getting just a little better at planning meals or making things from scratch each week can add up.

Money isn't everything, though. While it can help with a lot of issues, it's easy to overlook sometimes how much better our lives would be, in the here and now by trying to improve things that have nothing to do with money. Maybe it means committing to going bed earlier to get extra sleep, or planning out your day so that it doesn't get away from you (preaching to myself, here).

One thing I'm trying to do right now is to review how my week is going, note the improvements, and then ask myself one question: How could I make this better? Remember, it doesn't have to be drop-your-jaw-you-lost-50-lbs-overnight better, just a little better. Knowing that I don't have to do it all in one day helps me move forward and to keep trying, even when I fail miserably.

I also read somewhere that $1, improved by just 1% every day, will turn into over $37 by the end of the year, or $1437 by the end of two years. Imagine the changes in your life if you tried to improve just a little each day in often-overlooked areas.

Are there any ways you have ever noticed the 1% principle in your own life?

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