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  • Writer's picturePaula Robertson

Becoming 1% better every day

Tapping into the power of continuous improvement

Earlier this month I thought about my intentions for the year ahead…and I do have some big visions and dreams that excite me. On the other hand, though, it is easy to get overwhelmed by my goals, and feel unsure of where and how to those ambitious goals might just get abandoned before the end of the month!

I got inspired by James Clear, bestselling author of Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones. He talks about the concept of ‘accumulative advantage’, where the benefits of just being a little bit better every day increase exponentially over time.

Following the rules of compound interest, if you took action towards becoming 1% better every day, at the end of one year, you’d be approximately 37.78 times better than you were before (1.01 to the power of 365=37.78). That equates to being almost 38 times better at whatever goal you're trying to reach by for thought, indeed!

This can take some of the pressure or sense of overwhelm off our big visions and goals…if we remind ourselves that all we have to do is show up, take intentional action steps in the direction of our goals, and be just 1% better each and every day. Progress over perfection!

“Getting 1 percent better every day counts for a lot in the long-run.”

For example, becoming 1% better might look like:

  • Eating out one less day a week and saving the money instead.

  • Taking five minutes to pray or meditate when you wake up.

  • Using the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • Drinking just one glass of water first thing in the morning.

So how can you incorporate this concept into your life? Here are some tips:

Set your goals. Envision the life you want to achieve in terms of health, relationships, finances and so on. Make your vision as clear and compelling as possible and write it down. Get clear as well on why you want to achieve it, and how you’ll feel once you’ve done so.

Look at your current habits. Do a little 'habit audit'. Do your current habits bring you closer to or take you away from your life vision? If they don’t serve your higher vision, what adjustments or little changes could you make to change course?

Commit and take action. Commit to showing up and taking these small steps each day.

Trust the process. Remembering your "why" will help pull you through the days when 1% better feels boring or dull. Remember that success is built in the small steps and little daily habits we create. It's all about showing up, getting a little better each day, and leveraging the power of building consistent good habits.

Here’s to fulfilling your big dreams and goals…one step at a time!

Be well,


Dr Paula Robertson is a busy mom and a paediatrician with over twenty years' experience working with young people and their families. You can find out more at

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