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What does 1% better look like?

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

At Garage1880, we encourage straying away from all-or-nothing thinking. All-or-nothing thinking can be detrimental to long-term results by not allowing your body time to build and adapt to sustainable habits. In order to do that, we preach aiming for 1% better. So, what does that mean? How can you implement it?

1% better is when you aim to be just a little bit better than yesterday, last week, or last month. This helps create sustainable, long-term results that stick. If you continue to strive for 1% better everyday, you’ll be 37 times better in a year than you are today. It does not necessarily need to be an exact 1% increment of improvement; it’s lowering the barrier of entry to encourage success in the long run.

Graph showing how 1% better compounds over time

If you have fallen victim to all-or-nothing thinking or processes, you’ve likely felt like you were constantly starting and restarting. This is where you would hear or say things like “I’ve fallen off the wagon” or “I already blew it this week so I’ll just reset again on Monday”. This would be a good opportunity to reassess and try the 1% better method, where you meet yourself where you are, focus on conquering 1-2 habits per week, and build a long-lasting routine you can rely on through all seasons of life.

Here are several examples of what aiming for 1% better could look like:

  1. You currently walk for 40 minutes (two 20 minute walks) per week. 1% better could be increasing your weekly walk time to 60 minutes per week. You could do this by increasing your two walks by 10 minutes each or adding an additional day of a 20 minute walk.

  2. You currently lift 2x per week for 30 minutes each. 1% better could be increasing to 3 lifts per week or increasing the time of your two training sessions to 45 minutes each.

  3. You currently consume vegetables 3x per week. 1% better would be increasing your vegetable consumption to 4x per week or increasing the consumption on the existing three days.

  4. You currently drink 42 oz of water per day. 1% better could be increasing your water consumption to 64 oz per day.

  5. You currently consume 60g of protein per day. 1% better could be increasing your protein consumption to 75g per day.

You’ll notice these 1% increments aren’t going from 0 to 100 or even going from your current to what a textbook suggests. You become 1% better by slowly adding value to your current routine. It’s important to note that adding value doesn’t necessarily mean changing all aspects of health at one time. You’ll likely want to focus on 1-2 habits at a time. Once those habits stick for a few to several weeks, then think about adding 1-2 more.

To learn more about becoming 1% better, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our expert trainers.


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