The 1% Strategy

4 of every 5 New Year resolutions fail

The reasons for that happening can be different, often even a combination of many. Some of the resolutions given don’t really reflect what actually matters to us, they are given because it feels like the right thing to do, to give in to social pressure, please others, etc. In this case, it’s for your own good to let those resolutions be forgotten. But sometimes our heart is in the right place when we promise to change our lives in a certain way but the goal is too big, too time-consuming, and too far out of reach. The overwhelmingness of it starts eating away the motivation and when life happens you fall off the wagon and that’s that.

Instead of just having goals, you want your goals to be attainable. The definition of done should be clear to you thus making it easier to understand what kind of effort and how much of it is needed to put into reaching the goal.

Your goals should challenge you but instead of scaring you with how big they are, they should inspire you. Turning your goals into ones that are attainable means looking at them realistically and asking yourself if they make sense knowing your previous experience and the time and energy you can realistically invest into them. If a busy parent of three kids and a 9-5 job sets a goal of „Working out 6 times a week 1h per day“ the chances that life will happen, energy and motivation will burn out, is pretty high. Keep in mind that everything you do that resonates with the changes you want to have in your life, drives you a bit closer to them. Ok, the speed may not be 100km/h but you’re moving still in the right direction. So if realistically you have only 15 minutes of time to exercise per day or only one day in a week to work on your side project it’s still better than gritting your teeth for a month to meet your original unattainable goals and then quitting it completely because you burned yourself out

When trying to pick up a new habit that takes you closer to the final goal, aim to be 1% better from the last time you practiced that habit, do 1% more, and get 1% closer to the result. Those percentages accumulate much faster and easier than you can imagine and yet, you’re easing yourself into your new habit slowly and gently without developing any reluctance from pushing yourself too hard. Slow and steady always beats the sprint of madness on a longer journey.