One percent improvement a day leads to 37 times better over 1 year!

Have you ever read something written by a behaviour change expert that is really good at first glance but after a moment’s thought you say: “Hang on that sounds like BS!”. I had that reaction today when I read a James Clear blog on Continuous Improvement. Now, I really admire James’ writing and he has built up an impressive following. But when I read that if you improve 1% a day, then you will be 37 times better after one year. You can read his blog here with the simple chart that shows the math. So, it seems good and the math holds up but what can you really improve 1% a day?

Well, coincidently I had just today also tried out my first plank after reading how a friend on FaceBook was recording his improvements in holding planks. I watch a video called How To Do A Plank Exercise on YouTube here.  I held the plank for 30 seconds.

So, I wonder whether I can apply the 1% improvement a day approach and try it out with planks. Day 1 done so only 354 days to go!

Here’s my system to help me get started. A trusty (and well used) whiteboard:








So if Day 1 is holding a plank for 30 seconds, then after one year I’ll be able to hold a plank for 18 minutes and 30 seconds. Which seems an awfully long time! So I just checked the world record and was happy to see that it’s 8 hours and 1 minute held by Mao Weidong of China set in 2016 in Beijing! So well within human capacity. Let’s see how it goes. I wonder what other skills can be improved by 1% a day. Any thoughts?

About Warwick

Warwick John Fahy is a professional facilitator and trusted advisor to executives who wish to improve their communication and executive presence. He has authored several books including Influence: The Jack Ma Way.
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