Practicing

The .5% Rule for Making Improvements

Have you ever heard of the “One-Half-of-One-Percent Rule”? It’s a reliable tool for improving yourself and your life—that is, of course, if you follow through with it. But considering what a tiny demand it requires, that part is actually pretty easy.

The .5% Rule

The idea behind the .5% rule is simple. You simply need to answer “Yes!” to the following question and commit to sticking to it, starting today:

“Can you be one-half-of-one-percent (.5%) better than you were yesterday?”

By sticking to this simple rule, everything you do to improve yourself starts to add up over time. One-half of one percent is just a tiny percentage of all that make up the person you are right now. But what if you can change that tiny bit of yourself or of your life for the better, every day?

Every time you work on getting .5% better than the day before, you’re not only improving on what you started with but also doubling any improvements you’ve already worked on in previous days and weeks. Just like your bank account, the power of “compounding” will work wonders. In less time than you could imagine you’ll be an improved version of yourself.

Ask yourself: where could you be in a year, or in ten, if you get .05% better every single day?

How to Put the .5% Rule into Action

This also leads to another question—how do we get started? What can we do to improve ourselves?

First, we have to understand that any real or significant life changes can only happen in one of four ways.

We can…

  1. Start doing something. For example, we might schedule some time each day to think, meditate, or pray if that’s something we haven’t been doing. Or, we might make it a goal to reach out to a friend or relative every day, just to let them know we’re thinking of them.
  2. Stop doing something. Are there bad habits or routine tasks that we can break or eliminate? We might make it a goal to stop stocking our pantries with sugary treats, and instead fill them with healthier snacks. Or, maybe we find out that we waste time trying to find the same things over and over; we can stop doing that by reorganizing things or making new habits.
  3. Do more of something. For example, this can mean spending more time working out on the exercise mat, or spending more quality time with loved ones.
  4. Do less of something. For some of us, it might be to reduce time surfing the Internet or checking social media. For others, it might be eating fewer sweets at night, or drinking less coffee.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started on building a better, stronger version of yourself a little at a time. Start thinking about what you can do to change your life for the better, using these four change-makers as your guides. Then, take baby steps toward improvement every day.

For example, maybe one of your goals is to cook healthier meals.

Every day, aim to do one tiny thing toward this goal. For today, that might mean looking up recipes for tasty, healthy dishes, and trying one of them out for dinner. Tomorrow’s step might be reviewing your shopping list to include more healthy foods (and take out highly processed ones). The day after tomorrow, you might research a new vegetable or fruit you’ve never tried before and learn how to use it in your meal prep.

Improvement comes not by trying to change everything at once; it comes by changing one small thing at a time. As a famous Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Each step takes you closer to your goal.

So, go forth! Take that first step on the journey to becoming a better you. Strive to be just .5% better every day. You’ll be amazed by the positive changes in your life as you apply this simple principle.

-Odelia C

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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