For the past ten years, I’ve been living by an ethos that I call 1% Better. I used it particularly at work by consistently seeking new life and better ways to create awesome results through tiny tweaks. That way, I never settled for the status quo and it highly encouraged my go-getter nature which became the hallmark of my career experiences.
For some, my 1-percents were too much and they didn’t want to change things especially when they worked. For others, they embraced my determination and enthusiasm. A few championed it. I loved creating results and seeing the magic – the impact on people’s lives, both my clients and colleagues. In turn, I accumulated great career stories.
In my personal life, 1% better helped me get through some really tough moments. For one, I could never sit down. I was always doing something else. Volunteering with kids with special needs, tutoring kids in math, working out at the gym or studying. Then there’s also life, right? Where you are in love in one minute and upset in the next. Dealing with the heartbreaks and disappointments while pushing through all odds to make the day just a little better for those whom I cared about.
This ethos of living daily 1% better revealed its true purpose after I turned 42 in 2017. It was the beginning of my worst season. By the end of that year, I had a big, broken heart from huge losses in love – family too. The 1-percents were easy enough when based on others.
In 2018, I lived like none of that matter. But I was shattered at the core of me and I didn’t know why. You see, I had lost my sense of belonging & purpose and in a deep state of grief from the loss. Towards the end 2018, I made a drastic decision to leave a job where I was unhappy and go full-time in my business as a coach. That move was the proverbial final straw.
It was in this next chapter that I began a true appreciation for living daily 1% better. I gave up many things.
Where previously it was about making things better on the outside, I had neglected what was happening on the inside, to the very core of me.
I stopped being hard like a drillmaster, constantly yelling at myself and at the world. On the inside, I was broken. But the only method I had learned through time was to kick my own behind. I swapped it for heaps of self-compassion. It meant no judgement or shaming for being in bed, feeling completely incapable of getting up and moving forward with my day. It meant being okay for feeling the shame when I ran out of money for the second time in my adult life. For constantly sobbing over the heartbreak, rejection and abandonment.
On some days, I might eat or go for a walk. And then, the cycle in bed would repeat itself. I kept at it – no judgement or shame. Heaps of compassion. I knew I had to exercise somewhat. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I watched Instagram videos of CrossFit athletes working out. I’d make micro moves from watching their videos to maybe, putting on my gym attire and then going back to bed. That was as far as I could go. Again, heaps of compassion. “You did good, Jenny. Look at you. Today you’ve put on your gym clothes!“
It was rather unusual operating in a different way. The old way of punishing and judging myself for being ‘broken’ was making me worse while the new way was more forgiving and required significant attention. It took me 12months to get to the place where I was fully living daily 1% better effortlessly. I began having a better relationship with myself and my self-confidence soared to a new high.
Each day is my personal best. The best that I could do. It wasn’t about comparing the day to the previous one or to a distant past. They are all my daily 1% better. And they add up. I celebrate each and every one of those single percenters. The more I celebrate, the more I looked forward to the next 1%. Capturing my one percent daily has helped my self-accountability and motivation shoot through the roof. And on days where I did, I packed on the self-care, amping it to where I needed it to be. And I still moved forward with my goals. Bit by bit, I got there.
It’s been three years now and I still practice my daily 1% better. I have lesser moments of tears; it takes me three seconds to care for myself. As I have a better relationship with myself, I find that my relationship with others is better too. It’s helped me launch three businesses in the last year. I now operate at 11% better each day with joy and success as my themes.
What was most surprising was to discover that I belonged to me. Yes, I belong to me in a way that I had never before. My life was always others-focused. And while it was great but I could never put myself first. Putting others first meant I couldn’t possibly put myself first, right? Having this switch to where I belong to me and I’m living in congruence to who I am on the inside. How much more love I have for myself.
If you’re still reading this, what would it mean for you to live daily 1% better? What if you did this for the next 30days?
Here’s what you need to do to practice Living Daily 1% Better:
- No shame or judgement; only heaps of compassion. Live like there are NO zero days. Days or moments when you needed to cry are not zero moments or days. They are your 1% better.
- Make self-care your non-negotiable. Self-care is the basis with which 1% occurs. There are many ways to do this without having to spend money or time away from your life.
- Be okay with the feels. If you need to tear, just tear up. It’s your way of experiencing your emotions.
- Celebrate! One thing we don’t enough of as adults. We celebrate the milestones of our ankle biters (kids). But along the way, we stopped believing that we needed to celebrate ourselves. Celebrate every single, breathing moment where you are 1% better. They matter. You matter. Celebrate is a 30-second exercise!
- Capture Your Stories. I journal as I celebrate. I made my own journal to capture all my 1-percents. Every Friday, I review my week and see how far I’ve come in a matter in seven days. I marvel at my efforts and how much I’ve grown. I love my Fridays.
Of the five, which one resonates the most. Start there – it’s what you need right now. Else, start with step 5 for today. Capture your stories, those one-percenters. Soon, you will see that you truly belong to you and you are the most important person in your life. It’s time, isn’t it?
Thank you for reading this article. Here’s a free download to the very same journal that I used to improve my self-care, increase my self-accountability and self-confidence, and now my clients rave about it!