In Praise of Small Victories in Pursuit of Big Changes

I’ve come to a point where I no longer think big. I think small; small victories, small disciplines, small habits, etc.

I recently completed James Clear’s Atomic Habits, in which he talks about 1% improvements. I don’t know if he was the first to really popularize the concept, but he certainly brought New York Times bestseller attention to it.

He describes the efforts of the British cycling team, which was pretty much a joke on the international circuit. They got a new coach, and instead of looking for huge changes and big wins, he looked for ways the team could improve by…1%. First at this, then at that, and then the other thing, and after enough tiny improvements, the team went from also rans to multiple Tour de France championships.

While I didn’t first come upon this concept through James Clear, he provides a first rate explanation of it.

I’ve been applying this to my own life, through daily habits. Daily writing, daily meditation, daily exercise, daily affirmations. By showing up and doing things every day they are bound to improve, just a little.

After a few months, the accumulated daily improvements add up to huge changes. I’ve improved my writing, my fitness, my sleep, and most of all, my mental health.

Through the pursuit of small victories I have effected big change.

More thoughts (video) here.