May 14, 2020 | 12:02

The One Percent Rule - How Tiny Changes Can Bring Big Results

Have you ever heard about The One Percent rule?

One Percent Rule

It says that if you keep improving by as little as 1% each day, the compound effect of those changes is incredible.

Conversely, if you are going to get worse by 1% each day over a period of one year, the cumulative effect is going to be disastrous.

Because it is so small of a change, we don’t see any immediate or short term results:

  • Reading 10 pages a day for a week doesn’t seem to make you smarter;
  • Exercising for 15 minutes a day won’t make you fit;
  • Learning 8 new words a day might not make any difference in a week;

But doing that consistently results in:

  • Reading 15 books in one year (considering ~240 pages/book on average);
  • Increasing your life expectancy by 3 years1;
  • Learning 2920 new words in one year, which will allow you understand ~84% words in a text written in a new language2;

A Question To You

Think about what is one area in your life you can improve by 1% today? If you stick to it, you’ll be surprised how big of a difference it will make in the long run.


  1. Wen CP, Wai JP, Tsai MK, Yang YC, Cheng TY, Lee MC, Chan HT, Tsao CK, Tsai SP, Wu X. - Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study ↩︎

  2. Paul Nation and Robert Waring - Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists ↩︎


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