What a 1% Improvement Can Do

Here’s a question I heard in a Facebook group recently: “How do you challenge people who are already operating at a super-elite, high level?” The answer to that is pretty simple: You can always improve. If you say, “Nope, I’m good. I’m done,” then eventually you’ll be right. You’ll be done. But if you can say, “Okay, I’m already performing at a super high level. How do I improve something by 1%?”

That’s when the REAL results start showing up.

How do we improve something by 1%?

I like to read books and my latest book is called Atomic Habits by James Clear. James was talking about the British cycling team who for 110 years won zero medals. Even biking companies would say, “I’m not going to sell you my bike because I’m afraid one of you is going to suck, and then people are going to think, Oh no, our bikes suck because you guys suck.”

So, they hired a guy in 2003 and his whole philosophy was looking at their entire process, from their bikes, to their sleeping habits, their pillows, the mattresses, everything, and saying, “How do we improve these, each one, each area by 1%?”

They painted the inside of the vans white so just in case that there was dust around because that dust would get into the bikes and then would affect their performance. They had surgeons come in and explain how they should wash their hands, and avoid sickness and stay in top form. They looked at every single step and just sought to improve them by 1%.

Now, were there results right away? No, but within four to five years, they were earning not only gold medals, but they were blowing records, world records, Olympic records, even winning the Tour de France. It was unbelievable.

I’m good, thanks

I hear a lot of people say, “Well, I don’t really need to get any better at what I’m doing because I’m already operating at top performance.” The reality is that we’ve ALL got more in our tanks.

Imagine what you could do if you improved even just one thing in your business or your life or your relationships by 1%. The challenge is to keep going while you work hard and yet the results aren’t really showing up. Brene Brown calls it the “messy middle.”

It might get a little messy

This is the part where you’ve made your decision: You’re going to improve, and then you hit the messy middle. That’s where there are no results – yet. You’re working hard. You go to the gym and you’re working and you’re working and you’re seeing no changes. You’re trying to improve your Facebook ads. You’re doing everything you can, but it doesn’t feel like something’s happening.

It’s called the messy middle, but here’s the cool thing…Stick with the messy middle and the results start compounding and adding up exponentially on the other side. That’s the real definition of a high performer: The one who decides they’re going to improve by 1%, sticks through the messy middle, comes out the other end, not bloody, well, maybe a little bit bloody and battered. There’s always a little bit of that. But they end up getting what they want.

One step at a time

I hope you guys find this really cool. If any of you are wondering, what can I do this winter? What can I focus on? For instance, if you want to improve your eating and get better, don’t take your entire nutrition plan and blow it up. Pick one snack a day. And then go to another snack and then check out another meal and so on and so forth.

If you do that kind of stuff, that’s what generates the results that you’re looking for. That’s what really starts you saying, “Wow, I’m really getting somewhere and it’s really, really exciting.” The nice part is you don’t have to bite off the entire thing all at once. It will give you a stomachache.

Take tiny little nibbles. Whether you are coming out of a really, really hard time or you’re already cooking with gas, wherever you are, using the 1% rule can really make a big difference. And if you have any questions, you want to know more, you know where to find me here. Cheers.