Do you want to know the real secret to achieving all the lofty goals you dream of? You know, goals like paying off your mortgage, saving $1 million, starting your own business, or traveling the world?
The secret is consistency.
It’s not winning the lottery or some revolutionary change in the way you live your life. It’s about taking one small action every day that will bring you one step closer to where you want to be. This concept is called continuous improvement – and it’s all about focusing on getting 1% better every day.
Being 1% better every day means focusing on one small action you can take today to get one step closer to where you want to be tomorrow. It means sticking to these small actions day after day (even if you don’t feel like they’re working) because you know it will be something important.
Instead of focusing on a big, overarching goal that seems impossible to achieve, focus on your daily habits. This is where you save a few bucks for your rainy day fund, pay a little extra on your credit cards, and shop around until all the little deals add up. This process is neither sexy nor interesting. But it works and it also helps improve your self-discipline. It’s about making every day meaningful.
The magic that changes life is to improve by 1% every day.
Getting 1% better is really hard to quantify in the beginning. You start by being 1% better at something today than you were yesterday. Then tomorrow up to 2%. Next day up to 3%. A week later you are at 7%. It wasn’t much, but it got a little bigger over time.
Here’s some math to see what I mean.
By the rules of compound interest, if you aim to be 1% better every day, at the end of the year you will be about 37.78 times better than before (1.01365=37.78). That’s 37 times better at managing your finances, escaping that side hustle, asking for a raise, or whatever goal you’re trying to achieve.
Very strong, right?
What does it look like to be 1% better every day?
Here are some examples of how you can be 1% better in your finances, health and overall life every day by creating your ideal day.
For your finances:
- Take a few dollars from each paycheck and put it into savings
- Throw an extra $20 towards your debt if you already have it
- Read 10 pages of a personal finance book every day
- Sign up for a free financial education course
For your health:
- Go out to eat less often than last week
- Exercise 30 minutes a day
- Eat less processed sugar than last week
- Drink some water
- Get a good night’s sleep (at least 7 to 8 hours)
For your life and overall productivity
- Every morning write something you are grateful for
- Create a morning routine for your finances
- Clean up your life
- Turn off notifications for your email, social networks and text messages
- Take five minutes a day to connect with someone you love
How to be 1% better every day
Now that you have some examples of what it looks like to be 1% better every day, let’s talk about how you can start implementing this practice in your own life.
- Define what “better” means to you.
“Better” is different for everyone. My idea of ”better” is being financially independent, having a thriving business where I have the freedom to work when and where I want, run 15 miles a day without feeling like I’m going to die of pain next week and have a close circle of friends to laugh and grow with.
How does “better” sound to you? Take a moment and set some goals. Answer these questions and dream your ideal life:
- How much money do you have in the bank?
- Where are you working?
- How do you spend your free time?
- How do you feel?
2. Check your old habits
Once you know what “better” means to you, it’s time to examine your habits to see what works and what doesn’t.
Remember that a 1% improvement is common. It requires you to take small actions every day that are easy to do BUT also easy not to do.
For example, putting $20 into savings is easy. But it’s also easy to spend an extra $20 at the store. Reading 10 pages of a personal finance book every morning is easy. But it’s also easy to fill that time with a TV show.
Spending five minutes writing about what you are grateful for is easy. But spending that time on Instagram is also easy.
Examine your habits and see what small adjustments you can make to move the needle toward your goals.
3. Be patient and trust the process!
Even if you start aiming for a 1% improvement every day, you might not feel like you’re making progress. One day you’ll be excited to work on your goals—paying off a loan or learning a second language. And you can wake up the next day and say, “What was the point?”
But the key to 1% improvement is based on continuing to take small actions even when you don’t feel like taking them. It relies on you trusting that your actions are quietly gaining momentum and that success is bubbling beneath the surface.
Remember, magic happens in the world
The beauty of achieving success is that you don’t get there by trying twice as hard or making big changes in your life. Just focus on being 1% better today than yesterday.
When it comes to your finances, this could look like working on your money mindset, setting some financial goals, and finding an accountability partner who can encourage you along the way.
In just one year, you’ll be 37 times more informed, 37 times more financially secure, and 37 times closer to your dream life than ever before! How is it possible?