In Part 1 of my Transform Your Life blog series, I wrote about the problem with diets, basically that they don’t work. In Part 2, I want to talk about how to get healthy (more fit, lose weight, gain strength, etc) using the 1% rule.
Where Do We Go From Here?
In Part 1 we learned that obesity is rising at alarming rates. There are a lot of reasons for this and there is a lot of nuance when trying to move to a healthier place in your own life. In this post I offer some general guidance. Meanwhile I know that one’s health management is a very personal issue that deals with emotions, an individual’s history, and lots of other complicated variables.
The key to improving anything in your life is to start by making small commitments and sticking to them. I read (well, listened on Audible) a book called Atomic Habits that I think sets up a path for not just health-related success, but successes in all areas of your life. It really helped me understand the way to make long-lasting changes. I encourage everyone who wants to make changes in their life read this book.
Atomic Habits – How to Get Healthy 1% At A Time
What was most impactful to me about Atomic Habits is the core message that having a goal is great, but the focus should be on the system (aka process) that you follow to reach that goal. You may have heard the old quote “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
In order to change pretty much anything in life, we have to setup a process for success. In order to stick to our process, we need to remove the barriers that could get in the way of incorporating the process as a habit in our life.
This is the essence of how we achieve our goals. We can achieve our goals by choosing to make small, incremental improvements (the 1%) each day and sticking to them over time until they just become part of who we are and what we do.
The Power of 1%
Check out this powerful analogy, referenced on Zappos.com website….
If you start out with $100 at the beginning of the year and you were able to increase what you have by 1% every single day, at the end of the year, you would have $3,778.34 = $100 * (1 + 1%) ^ 365. That is nearly 37.78x what you had at the beginning of the year!
We all know that when it comes to finance, by investing early you take advantage of compounding gains slowly over a long period of time. Investing in your health is similar to finance. By investing a small amount of effort now, over time these efforts will compound and result in large improvements in your health.
So, how about being 1% better today? Pick one thing you can do and it only needs to take 2 minutes. One example would be to take a 2 minute walk. Congratulations! You’re making a ‘vote’ for the person you want to be and taking a step towards it. Do the same thing tomorrow. Again the next day. And the next day. Maybe one day you’ll decide to walk 3 minutes, 5 minutes or 10 minutes. You are developing a habit that will form your identity as a fit and healthy person.
By reading this you are taking your first step. You’re building momentum towards becoming who you want to be, and more importantly you are ready to establish the processes that will lead you there.
Begin now. Take action. Write it down, commit to yourself. Ask others to hold you accountable. Make 1% improvements over time.
If you are looking for a support group full of wonderful people, you need to meet my GFWA family! I teach Group Exercise classes and I’m starting a Transformation Challenge next week with some amazing people who are just like you and would love to support you and need you to support them.
Also, be sure to sign up for my mailing list to catch future posts on ‘1% better workouts’. Within the next several weeks I’ll be giving tips on getting healthy and fit by taking those small 1% steps.
Stay tuned … More to come in Part 3!