The 1% Rule and Goals vs. Systems

When I first started working out, I wanted to see abs immediately. I remember waking up every morning and staring into my full-length mirror from every angle, simultaneously playing with the lighting in my washroom. I woke up and started my day with disappointment. I never saw any change day-by-day. Everything looked the same. One giant ball of fat. When I look back now and remember where my body was and where it is now, I realized I’ve changed a lot.

Day-by-day it’s hard to see changes. But when you look back in time, everything seems different. For me, my goal has shifted from getting abs before (date), to improving a little everyday. The 1% rule is the most effective way to improve.

The 1% Rule

Every week aim to improve by 1% physically, emotionally, and mentally. A series of baby steps is less daunting than having the overarching goal of ‘have abs before (date),’ or ‘be happy,’ or ‘be smarter.’

Those goals are too large and hard to satisfy, in their own right. But when you aim to improve by 1% every week, you stop focusing on the big picture.

Improvement is made through a succession of little steps, not one large grandiose move.

Be active everyday (and eat healthy) and abs will be around the corner. Find happiness in the little day-to-day activities. Start reading or researching something you’re interested in everyday.

Whatever it may be, improving on it by just 1% each week adds up. Before you realize, you’ll look back and see how much you’ve changed.

Throw Away Goals, Develop Systems

Goals are okay for most people, in the sense that it provides some rough estimation of an endgame. Other than that, goals are terrible.

Sometimes you have too many goals and can’t satisfy them. Sometimes, you never reach your goals and are discouraged completely. Goals are terrible in that sense.

Instead, develop a system. Systems > goals. A system is a particular way of doing something, each time improving on it. A goal is just an endgame. When I started working out I would do abs every single day.

I had the goal of getting abs within the first 3 months (I failed). Then I moved that goal to the next 6 months (I failed). I was frustrated and moved it to within a year (I failed).

And I kept failing. I realized I had my mind so dead-set on the goal that I forgot about the system. My goal was abs and I did abs (that didn’t work). My system was be active everyday and I got abs (that worked).

Doing abs every single day became repetitive. I changed up the routine all the time, but before long, I burnt out. I would go through these ‘phases’ of short bursts of abs, followed by long hiatuses.

Goals never work. When I switched to the system, the mere daily activity made my abs show. For me, I believe systems are better than goals. Develop your own systems that improve you by just 1% every week.

You will see real physical, emotional, and mental changes each week and it will keep you coming back for more. You will thank me for it.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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