Small is not sexy. Small is boring. But big companies like Zappos care about it, and so should you. We all aim for the home runs. The big swings. And you should. I want you to swing as hard as you can. But I also want to make sure you swing better every time. Here is how we get there.
The 1% Principle
A 1% improvement in any activity seems insignificant. This “futility” that the 1% principle embodies is the exact attribute that makes it such a powerful concept. On the upside, it is small enough that it becomes attainable. It does not set the bar high, and therefore failure is unlikely.
The downside, though, is that it seems boring. We do not live in a world where delayed gratification or small, consistent effort is praised. Instead we are encouraged to take the easy way. To risk big. We are inspired by the big wins and “quick” successes.
If you are of the opinion that 1% does not move the needle, then you are forgetting about the cumulative effect of this practice. One percent a day means nothing. Unless you do it every day. Then something magical happens. If you can be 1% better every day, then you will be 37% better every year. Check the math here.
How to Apply This to Life
The idea is not to be rigid about the 1% rule. Do not waste time working out and becoming obsessed with percentages. The take home message is that your small decisions matter!
If you decide to cut 50 calories from your diet each day, then by the end of the week you have save yourself from 350 additional calories. By then end of the month that accumulated to 1400, and by the end of the year to 16,800 calories. The equivalent of 65 hamburgers. Think your waistline will thank you for that?
Commit to making very small, very achievable changes in your life that your future self will thank you for. Take a second and think of an area of your life that you would really like to improve.
Want to read more? Commit to only ten minutes a day of reading. And block that time out in your calendar. Want to be more fit? How about committing to five push-ups every day? And every week, adding five more.
Want to eat healthier? Swap out one of your current meals with something healthy.
It is inevitable that consistent effort in making the correct small decisions will eventually result in much bigger decisions. When you see the impact, you might want to make the small things into the big things and incorporate certain behaviours throughout your entire lifestyle.
Go for it. As I said, I want you to swing big.
But remember the small decisions you make will ensure that your nerves are firing in sequence, that your muscles are primed, that your hand eye coordination is perfected, and that you will be a better batter today than you were yesterday.