How are your New Year resolutions going so far? Are you still moving forward, going strong after the vision you have for 2019? Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is something most of us aim for. Research says, 40% of Americans proclaim bold resolutions every year, but only 8% of us stick with it. That’s not surprising. We know this to be true. Most of the time, we feel disappointed about our goals, and put them off for next year’s resolution list. How about this year we try something different? What would life look like, if we commit ourselves to just a 1% improvement in the most important areas?
It’s so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment, and underestimate the value of making small, daily improvements. Too often, we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action. Whether it’s losing weight, building a business, improving relationships, growing spiritually, or achieving any other goal, we put too much pressure on ourselves to make one, extraordinary improvement, that will instantly change the trajectory of our lives.
Our goal shouldn’t be instant success. Rather, our focus should be on developing small habits over time, that will stack up. Consider a different approach this year; incremental change. Daily improving by a mere 1% may not seem noteworthy, but it can prove far more meaningful, especially in the long run. If we grow 1% better each day, for one year, we will compound success, and the overall direction of our lives will change. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of our habits multiply as we repeat them.
Here’s the challenge:
What’s the 1% improvement you can make in your marriage and with your children today? We’re not even going to talk about what you want to change this year…We’re only talking about today. Try putting your phone away at 7PM each night to reduce your social media use. You’re not throwing away all your social media. You’re simply making a small change to your evening routine, to now invest more time with your family.
How about your walk with God? Is there a 1% difference you can make in the way you approach your prayer life or devotions? Maybe you have an ambitious goal of waking before 6AM each day to read the Bible, but already you’re feeling defeated and running out of steam. Perhaps your 1% improvement is to write a scripture on an index card, you can keep in your pocket all week. Read your scripture and meditate on it throughout the day, rather than choosing a Bible reading time you know will be a huge hurdle for you.
Whatever it is, start with 1% each day. What starts as a small win will accumulate into something much more. Tiny changes can produce amazing results!