1. To achieve your dreams, you have to be committed to improving how you eat, sleep, exercise, and think. A 1% change isn't much, but small improvements each and every day will amplify your life.
2. Being just 1% better every day is like compound interest for your body and mind, where every day’s gain gets added to yesterday’s “principal” so that you earn results on your results. This is called the aggregate of 1% gains.
3. Doing something small each day will leave you with more of everything: more strength, more confidence and more possibilities.
“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” - Jim Rohn
One of the best approaches I have seen for achieving a dream is to focus on being 1% better.
I work with a lot of incredible athletes, but it isn’t always talent that drives achievement. What sets the best performing athletes apart is their dedication to training at a consistently high level. And among that group, there is a factor that sets even the elite athletes apart: lifestyle.
Athletes with daily habits and behaviours that are consistent with their goals tend to be the most successful. I call them “24-hour athletes.”
This is a key idea for this program. To live a life consistent with your dreams and goals, you have to be committed to improving how you eat, sleep, exercise and think. A 1% change might not seem like much, but small improvements each and every day will amplify your life.
Here is an interesting example from the business world: General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt has made 1% Better a mandate. GE collects and analyzes data from its various automated areas of operation to discover how to make micro-improvements in efficiency. Then, using the industrial internet, updates to operating software can be sent to the equipment to create 1% gains in performance. GE estimates that it can boost productivity in the US by 1.5% which, over 20 years, could raise the average national income of the company by 30%. If we use an airplane example, a 1% reduction in fuel costs could save the airline industry $30 billion over 15 years.
Similarly, Dave Brailsford who coached the Team Sky cycling team that won the Tour de France in 2012 and 2013, also applied the principle of aggregating 1% gains. They started by optimizing tire pressure, then working on nutrition, then fitting the bikes to the riders better. This process continued and repeated itself over and over. Ultimately, this approach helped his riders to many championships and medals.
What GE is doing with business processes and Team Sky is doing in sports, you can do with yourself. Being just 1% better every day is like compound interest for your body and mind, where every day’s gain gets added to yesterday’s “principal” so that you earn results on your results. Doing something small each day will leave you with more of everything: more strength, more confidence and more possibilities.
How can we gain some inspiration and learn from our best athletes to help us in our day-to-day lives? Here are a few things that athletes do to overcome obstacles like injuries – consider them nuggets of gold for all of us.
First Nugget: Start small After injuries, Olympians have to get right back to the basics and build their health, fitness and performance from the ground up. You can do exactly the same thing. Go for a 15-minute walk. Do some simple exercises. Go take a yoga class. Just get active.
Second Nugget: Be consistent Olympians build their strength, flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular fitness over thousands of hours and many years of deliberate practice and training. So don’t worry about it if you get off track for a while. The key is to get back to being active as soon as you can. When you start again you might get frustrated, but each time you get going your fitness will come back faster and faster.
Third Nugget: Build a routine Make exercise and physical activity part of your routine. Book it off in your calendar. Make it a priority. That way you won’t have to make a decision about whether or not to do it when you’re busy or if you get tired during your day. Olympians build daily routines to make sure that they can perform on demand. You can do exactly the same thing.
Remember: You only need to be 1 per cent better each day. The difference between a medal and 10th place in many events is just a tiny fraction. And the difference between you getting more fit or not is also just a tiny fraction. I call it the aggregate of 1-per-cent gains.
A 1% improvement in your lifestyle will have a multiplied effect on your performance and happiness.
As we work through all of the advice, information and suggestions of the program, stay focused on micro-improvements. They will build the foundation that supports your dream.
Here are some links if you want to explore The Power 1% Better idea more: