If you are anything like me you are always looking for ways to improve yourself and make yourself that little bit better.

It sounds like a good idea in theory and we would all like to do it but the thing is to make any meaningful progress we pretty much know that we would need to radically change ourselves. After all there is no point in doing things by halves!

Even if we were 50% better than at the moment that really wouldn’t make a significant amount of difference in our lives. Hey it would help but it really wouldn’t make that much difference.

I mean lets say I can run 4 miles would 6 really make that much of a difference.

We earn $50,000 (£30,000) would $75,000 (£45,000) make that much difference? Hey I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice!

What about a double up maybe that would make all the difference!

Nah what we really need it a really big increase something significant we need 5X or 10X.

Yeh, lets go with 10X now we are cooking with gas.

The thing is how the hell do you go about making a ten times leap? How you improve by 10 times, seems like a really big ask. Especially as none of us has a genie in a lamp or magic wand! The reality of ten times just doesn’t sound real.

So what are the other alternatives? Well there is small incremental gains, but they hardly seem worth while. No we need the big radical stuff. Small and simple that’s just no good.

Or is it?

Let’s take a look and examine the reality of it.

Can small gains make big improvements?

It is at this point I want to tell you a story I heard when I was watching the Olympics in 2012. The British Cycle Team had just pulled in a record haul of medals. The mastermind of this triumph was a man by the name of David Brailsford.

Elsewhere Brailsford was in charge of team Sky and had helped Bradley Wiggins become the first Britain to win the Tour De France the worlds most prestigious cycle race.

So what was his secret to getting such amazing results. Well the people around him tell of his philosophy and it was this, Brailsford believed in a concept that he referred to as the “aggregation of marginal gains.” He explained it as “the 1 percent margin for improvement in everything you do.”

Let me point out the important part again it was “The aggregation of marginal gains.” It wasn’t a 10X strategy. It was small incremental improvements. That 1% when added together with other 1% made all the difference and brought in a flurry of golds and other medals.

Before we go any further I want to make you two offers

Offer a) within 1 year you get to be 10 X better than you are today!
Offer b) each day for a year you get to improve 1% from the day before!

Which one would you choose?

Without examination offer A looks infinitely more appealing doesn’t it?

The thing is if you took that option you would be massively robbing yourself. Really?

Well yes it does! It all comes down to a wonderful thing called compounding! Allegedly Albert Einstein called compounding “the 8th wonder of the world.”

The funny thing is that 1% compounded everyday gives you a 38 X improvement over a year. Don’t believe me go check it out on your calculator. (just do this put in the number 1 then press the X twice followed by 1.01 to represent 1% now press = 365 times for days of the year you will get just over 38)

Ok great so now we know about the power of compounding and we know that we really can make a radical difference to the quality of our lives if we just keep making small improvements.

So the next question is in what areas of your life should you start making these improvements. Well I will be writing articles on the ten main areas of life improvement in future articles. For now I think there are two areas you should concentrate on.

To start your physical body. (I will be talking much more about this as I have mentioned but for now, think about exercise, nutrition and sleep.)

Ask questions like what one thing can I do today to improve my physical performance?

Maybe you will say well I could think of my food as fuel rather than just something I use to satisfy a need. Maybe instead of sitting down in front of a TV for half an hour you could go for a walk or do one pushup. Maybe you make your bedroom that little bit darker to help aid sleep.
Mental Health. Avoid negative people and look for ways to reduce/eliminate stress from your life.

Ask Questions like who or what causes me the most stress in my life?

Maybe you have a specific person or persons who always come to you with their problems and dump them on you. Maybe you begin to reduce the time you expose yourself to these persons. Maybe there is a thought that always causes you to worry about things, so maybe you reach for a better thought, at least for a couple of moments.

If you just do that then you will start to get marginal improvements in your life and as we have seen that it is the sum total of all these little improvements that in the long run make all the difference.

The secret to both success and failure is small things repeated over and over for extended periods. So make sure the things that you do serve you, not steal from you.

Each day strive for your 1%.

Until next time I hope you become at least 1% better.