The +1 Rule and Why You Set Yourself up to Fail

First let me say, you are not a failure. Not by a long shot! Our actions do not define us, nor do our beliefs. Not unless we give them the power to.

For many of us, when someone criticizes or judges our actions or something we’ve said or even believe, we take it so personally we feel that it’s an attack on who we are as a person. So let’s clear the air, and put our egos aside. I am speaking to your actions here.

Good, now that we cleared that up, I would like to introduce you to the +1 Rule, also known as the 1% More Rule.

In it lies the answer to why you keep failing at achieving your goals, or following through on your intentions, or completing your endless to-do list. Well, let’s be honest, we never actually complete the to-do list. That’s impossible. But it’s not impossible to shift your mindset around your to-do list!

Studies have shown that big shifts or changes, when it comes to approaching goals, are not nearly as successful as small shifts and minor changes that add up over time. Yet, in a culture that feeds off of instant gratification, we rarely take the more sustainable, powerful path of slow growth.

But what if you decided that you only had to do 1% more today or be 1% better than you were yesterday?

When we approach a juicy goal it’s easy to get swept away by the big picture, thinking we have to accomplish the big tasks all at once or right away. Even if we set seemingly reasonable milestones for this goal, we often don’t hit them because we haven’t implemented the habits that will keep us in the game long term. The +1 rule breaks our goal/s down even more, and gives us permission to take a more enjoyable, sustainable route. It allows us to enjoy the journey. It empowers us to create real change. All it asks is that you do 1% more than you did before. Its only request is that you be 1% better than you were yesterday. That’s it! Totally doable, right?

Let’s say your goal is to start eating healthy. What is one thing you can do to move in this direction? I can tell you what that one thing is not. It’s not making over your entire pantry, or deciding never to eat gluten again, or even going plant-based for a day. Think smaller. It’s putting just one less teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, not eliminating sugar all together. It’s having a handful of nuts for a snack instead of a bag of chips today, not swearing off chips forever. It’s choosing not to put meat on your plate for one meal today, not all your meals today.

You get the point. What does 1% more represent for you and your goal/s? Here’s a fun exercise to do next week:

  1. First identify your goal.
  2. Then write down how you are going to do 1% more. or +1 yourself for each day to reach your goal over time:
    1. Monday
    2. Tuesday
    3. Wednesday
    4. Thursday
    5. Friday
    6. Saturday
    7. Sunday
  3. Then add it all up at the end of the week and see where you’re at.
  4. Repeat next week and the next until you reach your goal.
  5. Now do this exercise for your to-do list! Say what!

Just like wind and water shape canyons over time, as imperceivable as it may be now, with time your 1% more has an awesome, powerful impact.

You know how the saying goes. Rome was not built in a day…

By: Natalie Jones

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