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Dec. 25, 2021

1% Daily Improvement. So Small That It Won't Work Nor Matter.

1% Daily Improvement. So Small That It Won't Work Nor Matter.

"Past performance does not guarantee future results" is true for investors but UNTRUE for those investing in themselves. What does it mean to get 1% better every day? Do I just show up and give a little more?

I'll show you how to take 1% daily improvement from an idea and put it into practice. 

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear writes that 1% improvement every day will equal a 37X return in one year. Imagine doing this and achieving your goal of 70 lbs. weight loss or completely debt-free.

Then you ease up and start doing 1% worse every day. So small that it seems like it's no big deal, right? But by the end of the year, you've put all of the weight loss back on, and you're back in debt again.

But wait, there's more.

Roll that year over year, your weight and debt are the worst it has ever been, and all you can say is, "It happened all of a sudden."

Change doesn't happen all at once. It happens once all the time. 

1% daily improvement is accumulative. It seems like nothing in the moment, but over time it's everything, which is what makes it so deceiving. It's so tiny that it looks like skipping that day at the gym or swiping the credit card for that day won't matter, or reading 1 chapter or walking 10 minutes every day won't help you lose 100 lbs. 

In the moment, you're right. It doesn't matter. 

Over time, you're mistaken; it all matters. 

Most people make decisions based on their lag. Meaning, most people look at their current results (lag) to determine what their next leads (effort) are. 

Your leads should be independent of your lag. 

Just work the leads and let the lags be what they're going to be. 

Working the leads will strip out the emotions and negotiations you have with yourself to ease up or turn back. 

Remember, 1% improvement every day = 37 X return. 1% worse every day = the door way to disaster. 

Focus on the trajectory, not the current results. 

Here's a quick gut check for you. In the moment, ask yourself,

"Is the lead worth the lag?" Is what I'm about to do on the path toward the results that I want to see? If the answer is no, then walk away. 

If I save $100/month, will I be a millionaire in one year? No.

Could I be a millionaire over time? Maybe. 

See, the path that I am on is toward a million dollars. Even though it may take a long time, it's the right direction. 

Or you could say that saving $100/month is so tiny that it's not even worth it, so instead, you decide the blow the hundred that you have and the other hundreds that you don't have.

Is that the result that you want?

More debt.

Ruined credit.

Headed toward bankruptcy. 

If that's not the lag you want to see, then don't work the lead that way.

A ten-minute walk around the block, $20 thrown in savings or investments, or reading three pages from a 350-page book doesn't seem like much, but here's what's critical, the disciplines, knowledge, connections that you pick up along the way will massively pay off in the years ahead. This is why you have to be macro-patient, micro-effort. 

This is a long game you're playing. Just work the lead. Lay the brick, and the results will show up in the way that they need to show up. 

Trust me; you'll be happy when they do. Just do your part. 

Check out episode #668 of The Sales Life Podcast for a deeper dive. Find it on your favorite podcast app or YouTube.