Improve Yourself by 1% a Day!

Staff ShopBlog

“There’s a lot to be said for having a small manageable dream.” – Douglas Coupland


Since the beginning of the year, Staff Shop has been inspiring you to get fit, eat healthy and take care of your mental health. And since it’s finally spring, we thought it would be a good time to do a pulse check on how we are doing when it comes to achieving our goals. Many people fail at achieving their goals near the start not because of the type of goal, but how they go about it. According to a study from the University of Scranton, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.

Many people bite off more than they can chew when it comes to reaching their goals. The goal itself remains a good one, but the steps you’re taking to achieve it are wrong. While some people believe in the “go big or go home” philosophy, there’s something to be said for taking smaller steps to bettering yourself.


The 1% Method

The 1% method of achieving your goals isn’t a new one. A concept known as Kaizen has been around since the Depression Era, when industrialists needed to reboot the economy, but didn’t want to make big sweeping changes, but instead opted for an incremental method.

The word Kaizen comes from the Japanese word meaning “Improvement,” which is ultimately what you’re doing by making small, but impactful changes each day. After World War II, Japan took this concept from America and made it their own.

The 1% method is also written about in Atomic Habits by James Clear. James Clear talks about this in reference to the British cycling team – Team Sky. They hired a new manager who used a method he called “the aggregation of marginal gains.” The idea is that if you make small changes to the way you do something, such as cycling, you can improve bit by bit. And that all compounds each day.


Try using The 1% Method in these areas:

  1. Personal relationships – improving your marriage and friendships
  2. Career and education – leveling up and growing day by day
  3. Hobbies – art, music, reading, dance, etc.
  4. Sports and fitness – training, working out, etc.
  5. Self-care, wellness and mental health – meditation, yoga, journalling and prayer

Watch this video where James Clear discusses the case study of the British cycling team.


What Success Looks Like

James Clear discusses what success looks like. There’s actually a mathematical answer for that. If you improve by 1% each day for a year, you will become 37.78 times better than you were.

Now, the reality is that no one is going to be perfect at this. But Clear has an answer for this as well. If you take six weeks off, for vacation, laziness, etc, you can still become 10 times better by the end of the year. So, for those who are afraid to commit, there is still room for improvement that factors in regular life stuff that prevents you from doing this every day.

If you get 1% worse each day for a year, you end up closer to 0, rather than 37.78 times better. 



Helpful Tips

You might think that this 1% concept is great in theory, but harder to achieve in reality. This is true, it’s hard to think about what 1% looks like when applied to real life.

In his blog “Continuous Improvement: How It Works and How to Master It,” James Clear lays out some practical tips and tricks to help you succeed. “Progress often hides behind boring solutions and underused insights,” says Clear. And what he means by that is that doing more of the obvious things you already know you should be doing in a more consistent way will really help. If you’re working to improve your personal relationships, you could start by thanking the people in your life more often. If you’re trying to get fit and healthy, you could start going to the gym each day or on specific days. You already know you need to do these things, so don’t let this get too complicated.

Another helpful tip is to look for areas where you are failing and work on improving those. A good example of this is healthy eating. You know you need to eat healthy foods, but you also need to eliminate more unhealthy foods from your diet. 

Clear also discusses the idea of measuring backwards rather than forwards. Look at what you’ve already done, and improve upon it. If you’re a job seeker, did you apply to three jobs last week? This week try to apply to five. It’s all about making small incremental changes that will allow you to constantly improve, allowing you to eventually reach your goals without failure.


Join Us or Hire Us

Is there an area of your life that you feel you could improve upon? Are you tired of failing at your goals because you do too much too soon? Share your experiences.

As always, we invite you to join us or hire us. Contact Staff Shop today!


The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” – Ayn Rand





Staff Shop Inc. is a privately held Canadian-Indigenous-Women owned staffing and consulting firm servicing Canada I USA I Caribbean as an award-winning diverse supplier, certified with CCAB, CAMSC, WBE & WEConnect International.

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