An Extra 1%

Hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend! Fortunately, I have been able to dodge the bulk of Christmas music thus far. The next few weeks may be a different story…

The first holiday of three has come and gone, but it was very relaxing and refreshing even though I am exhausted coming out on the other end of it.

Today will be brief because it’s Sunday night and I’m tired. In reading the Ironman training book, Iron Fit, I stumbled upon a chapter based solely on making 1% improvements in training for the greatest growth over time. Primarily, it was focused on training and racing, but that 1% improvement can apply to literally any area. We should always strive to be a friend who is 1% better, a family member being 1% more of a team player, and certainly an employee striving to improve that last 1%. It is unrealistic to expect monstrous changes time and time again, but making little changes that can improve you will get you there. Slow and steady will always win that race.

As the year winds down, it is always an excellent time for reflection and change. I have ordered my new triathlon bike, I’ve upped my training back to a respectable level, and school is almost complete. The idea of 1% improvement is something that I am going to spend my winter break dwelling on because, of course, I want to race faster, especially in preparation for June. If I’m going to break 11 hours (I’m shooting for 10.5) then there will have to be a ton of little improvements in training and racing, and ideally those improvements will spill over into other areas of my life (ballroom dancing perhaps). I have my work cut off for me. A 1% change in my race time from Lake Stevens would have landed me in the top 15 in my age group (instead of 18), making me at least hopeful for a competitive shot at Kona or the world championships one day. Challenge accepted.

The challenge for this week is to find several areas that you can begin improving, even if only 1% at a time. Gradual and steady changes produce long-term results, but frantically pounding your body or mind into the ground will only burn you out.

Where will your 1% come from?

Picture credit 1.

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