If you improve by 1% every day for a year, you’ll be thirty-seven times better at the end of it. If you get worse by 1% every day for a year, you’ll almost be at zero.
This is a remarkable statistic that highlights the power of the compound effect. Small, seemingly insignificant things add up and lead to exponential results over time. A habit of doing three push-ups every day won’t be noticeable for a long time. But it will lead to noticeable better health and a more attractive physique if you stick with it long-term. The same positive effect is true for short meditation or journaling sessions or gratitude practices. The effects of small habits compound massively over time.
Yet, this is also true for bad habits. Procrastinating on important tasks, eating some junk food every day, or checking your phone first thing in the morning are small habits that compound negatively over time. The effects of small decisions are often not immediately noticeable. That’s why we easily dismiss their effect on us over time. But when you repeat small errors day after day, your missteps accumulate and create real problems.
The power of small habits lies in the results they generate over a long period of time. You can use their power to your advantage when you build good ones and break bad ones. Because, over-time your small habits add up to remarkable results – good or bad. If you use the power of small habits you can increase the likelihood of good results and a better life.
"Atomic Habits" by James Clear inspired this post. ↩︎