Tag Archives: the 1% rule

The One-Percent Rule

9 Jan

change-management1[1]You’ve probably heard of the 1% rule (or something similar).  It’s all about accountability, responsibility, and self-improvement.  The 1% rule means you should try to be 1% better today than you were yesterday — in the gym, at practice, as a competitor, at work, at home, and in life.  But improvement involves (requires) change and change requires work.  Basically, there are three types of change:

  • Steady-state change
  • Incremental change
  • Quantum change

Steady-state change is about maintenance.  Although there is little or no change, work is required.  For example, if you want to keep your house looking a certain way, you have to do dishes, wash clothes, vacuum the floors, etc. on a regular basis… and that’s just to keep it looking the same way, day after day.  The same applies to your strength & conditioning and sport-specific skills.  You need to commit yourself  to working out and practicing just to maintain your level of performance — consistency is the key.  Failure to work will invariably lead to a decline in your performance (and the appearance and condition of your house).

Incremental (small-scale) change is the key to improving performance.  This is the type of change to which the 1% rule applies.  Incremental change is realistic and attainable.  It obviously requires effort, but incremental change also encourages progress.  If managed properly, incremental change can lead to significant results.  As with steady-state change, incremental change requires consistency and discipline.

  • Healthy Weight Management.  If your goal involves losing a few pounds, break it down into a reasonable weekly or monthly goal.
  • Diet and Nutrition.  To improve your diet, don’t completely overhaul your eating habits all at once.  Try changing one thing per day (or week) — for example, eliminate one sugary drink per day or add an apple every day.  Then, aim to change (add or eliminate) more things over time to create better habits.
  • Strength and Conditioning.  In order to improve your strength and speed — or your overall level of fitness — you must do something differently than you’re currently doing.  That usually means increasing the overall intensity level of your training (more resistance, sets, reps, and/or volume).
  • Sport-Specific Skills.  Want to improve your ball-handling or shooting?  Find some new drills, instead of  — or in addition to —  the ones you’re currently doing; and commit more time and effort (more repetitions) to your skills practice.

The new year is a time of change for lots of people.  My first blog post of 2013 referred to new year’s resolutions.  I’ve read that most people give up on their new year’s resolutions by the end of January, and that trying to accomplish too much, too soon (unrealistic goals) is the primary reason.  Challenge yourself, but take “baby” steps, and you’ll find the change process much more manageable and attainable.

Quantum (large-scale) change takes time, and is the result of lots of incremental change.  Regardless of your goals, it’s unrealistic to think you can make huge gains in performance in a relatively short time.  If you want to achieve big things, you need to do diligence to the incremental change process.  Be aggressive and realistic.  And be patient.

What will you change, and how will you improve, today?


Your thoughts?

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