The Power of 1% Better
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 health, more wellbeing, and more human potential.
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 people, but it isn’t always talent that drives achievement. What sets the best performers apart is their dedication to practice, learning and training at a consistently high level. And among that group, there is a factor that sets even the elite performers apart: lifestyle.
High performers with daily habits and behaviours that are consistent with their dreams, goals, and objectives tend to be the most successful. In sports 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 sleep, eat, move, and think. A 1% change might not seem like much, but small improvements each and every day will improve your life exponentially.
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.
How can we gain some inspiration and learn from our best performers to help us in our day-to-day lives? Here are some examples of things that people do to overcome obstacles to exercise – consider them nuggets of gold for all of us.
First Nugget: Start small. For example, 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. Start very small and build from there.
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 health, wellbeing and performance 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. World class performers in all disciplines 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 percent better each day. 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… more strength, more confidence, and more possibilities.
Bonus: Here’s an interview I did for The Globe and Mail on how ‘microchanges’ can make a major difference.
The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is not intended and should not be used in place of advice from your own physician or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you acknowledge that undertaking any new health, diet and/or exercise regime involves certain inherent risks, that you assume such risks, and that you release Wells Performance Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.