Be 1.01% Better Each Day — To Create Extraordinary Results in Your Life

Here’s the mathematics behind this game-changing idea.

Tim Denning
Dec 2, 2020 · 5 min read
Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

I am a big believer in small improvements.

Big improvements are a fantasy. They rarely happen.

  • You don’t wake up one day and magically fall in love — you work on yourself instead.

Here’s the mathematics behind the formula that I found on Twitter (not sure who created the idea — message me if you know).

Image Credit: IvanOnTech via Twitter

The concept is simple. You can do nothing and be in the same place in a year’s time. Or you can be 1.01% better each day. The secret isn’t to be exact with calculating your results or working out how much effort you put in.

1.01% better each day is a mindset.

You build the habit

The mindset of 1.01% better each day is helpful, but without a habit it’s just self-help masturbation.

Your results come from what you do consistently. Habits automate the tasks that lead to results. Your habits act like a mental trigger. When a dog sees a bone it instinctively chases it.

When your mind has formed a habit it instinctively knows it’s time to do the work. A habit destroys the need for willpower. Let’s be honest for a second: who the heck feels like doing work?

If you do, you might be related to an Instagram startup hustler. If you’re a basic bitch like me, you rarely feel like working. That’s why you need habits to defeat yourself.

Habits save you from yourself.

Grow your habit by 1.01% each day

Okay, you’ve got the habit. *Does Borat voice* “High-five!”

Now you build on the habit by utilizing the 1.01% better per day mindset. That may sound unclear. Let’s make it dead simple with a question:

What tiny improvement can you make towards your goal today?

It’s all in the language. The key is to use words that won’t overwhelm you, which is why I chose the word tiny. You can do tiny. You probably can’t stomach huge right now, given everything going on in the world. I feel you sister. I love tiny. Tiny helped me make $300K as a writer. Tiny can do extraordinary things for you too.

The next best action is adequate. The mistake I made when growing my writing habit was I tried to overthink the next step. I was drunk on huge actions, rather than committed to “any action.” Any action is good.

Taking action helps you uncover the next step.

My favorite next action is a conversation. I learn so much from conversations with other people, and more often than not, they lead me to the next step. If you don’t know what action to take next, schedule a few Zoom calls. Choose people to talk with who already have achieved what you’re trying to achieve — or are close.

Your results compound

“Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.” — Elbert Einstein

The compounding effect doesn’t solely apply to investing and your money. You can compound your results with the 1.01% better per day mindset too.

The start of the journey towards a goal is painfully slow. It almost looks like you’re not making any progress at all. Then, after a few months, your goal gets easier. The bad news: it took me years, not months.

When I had a goal to write my dreams into reality through blogging, nothing happened in months. It took me years. I posted dumb blog post after dumb blog post. I was a 4 AM early rising asshole. Thankfully, I kept writing.

The results remained low for a long time. The reason my results were poor was because I hadn’t mastered the skill of writing. If I could actually write in the beginning, then my growth trajectory would have been faster. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention in English class. I dicked around and threw paper planes at the teacher. She’s the one laughing now.

There came a point where everything changed. The results crept up on me. My writing went from being read by nobody to getting shared with a wider audience. It wasn’t because of the content. It was because of the consistent effort I was putting into the habit of writing.

Many fellow writers now describe my results as extraordinary. I’m embarrassed when they say that because I don’t think they are. I think I’m nothing more than consistent, thanks to the 1.01% mindset.

How you measure your day, motivates you for tomorrow

When the goal of your effort is tiny, it’s straightforward to hit your target.

The 1.01% better mindset makes you feel good about your work. It feels achievable as a measurement of your output in a day, so you keep intuitively doing it. It’s hard to hate a simple concept that works.

At the end of each day, before I go to bed, I ask myself: “Was my work 1.01% better than yesterday?” The answer is yes.

As long as I learned one thing, I am 1.01% better than yesterday.

Why couldn’t you measure your day like this? You can be 1.01% better today and measure your results with a back-of-the-envelope calculation.

Ditch the big boy thinking. Throwaway transformations, the desire to get-rich-quick, fast results, growth hacking and thinking of your life as being created by a handful of events. Your life isn’t created by a handful of events.

Your life is created by the tiny actions you take each day that go unnoticed by the people around you.

Make your daily activities into a system using the power of habit. Think about your effort in terms of 1.01% better each day.

Tiny effort can take your life to extraordinary places.

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Ascent Publication

Strive for happier.

Tim Denning

Written by

Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship —

Ascent Publication

Strive for happier. Join a community of storytellers documenting the climb to happiness and fulfillment.

Tim Denning

Written by

Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship —

Ascent Publication

Strive for happier. Join a community of storytellers documenting the climb to happiness and fulfillment.

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