How to transform yourself into your ideal

How to transform yourself into your ideal

1.01 ^ 365 = 37.783434333

This piece of math convinced me to exercise daily. Why? Let’s take it apart.

1.01 = 1 % improvement 365 = number of days in a year

If you improved at something 1 % every day, you would be roughly 38 times better at it in a year.

That might seem unreasonable, but bear with me.

What is the transformation you want to experience?

You probably want to become better at something. Be more confident, competent, or calm. You have an ideal in mind and measure yourself against it. But… are you getting closer to that ideal every day?

Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. Chances are you have ideals you aren’t getting closer to realizing. Why?

The trap: neglecting small steps

One reason can be that we focus on the before and the after, but not on the process of becoming.

We don’t focus on the 1 % we can improve every day. And so we don’t take action because the ideal is too far and too perfect.

We have an unfortunate tendency to ignore the tiny steps that would actually help us move forward and achieve the transformation we seek. Don’t underestimate the power of small consistent steps in a direction.

What is the 1 % daily improvement?

1.01 ^ 365 = 37.783434333

As I was mulling over the idea, I thought about an area I wanted to improve on: my physique.

I want to be leaner. I’ve had the idea of leaner me stuck in my head for a while, reinforced every time I looked in the mirror. Then I realized something simple: if I’m not making progress, I will never reach the ideal. Never.

If I don’t exercise, my ideal will not happen.

As I thought about that, I suddenly understood the corollary:

0,99 ^ 365 = 0,025517964

If you don’t improve every day, it goes downhill fast.

So back from the theoretical, the verdict was simple: if I don’t exercise every day, I will not look better and have that 6 pack. So, I started exercising.

Which brings me to the last point.

Will you make the effort?

Most people these days have crowded schedules and busy lifestyles, and as a result, they fall into a routine and when they resurface, they only do so to catch their breath and rest.

And the improvement they seek then falls by the wayside.

So to not let that happen to you, you have to defeat the enemies of making progress. To help you, here’s a non-definitive list of them:


  • you haven’t defined what the 1 % improvement means clearly enough

perfect preparation / conditions

  • you probably don’t need them

  • they probably won’t come about


  • you’re not sure if you should do something, that’s the familiar calling you away from progress


  • you’ve never done something before, so you aren’t sure what to do

bad time perception

  • you think you can’t make reasonable progress in 30 min

  • everyday time investment doesn’t appear to move the needle fast (e. g. exercise)

If you don’t get into one of these traps and improve daily, you are on a path to becoming your ideal.

1.01 ^ 365 = 37.783434333

1. Take the thing you want to become better at . Dance, writing, eating, exercising, taking photos,…

2. Define how you’ll make the 1 % improvement. Is it by:

  • working on your moves for 14 min 24 sec (1% of a day),

  • writing 700 words a day,

  • forgoing that muffin after lunch,

  • doing 10 pushs up a day,

  • or taking 3 photos every day?

3. Make the effort. If you’re don’t, then you’ll probably not end up becoming or exceeding your ideal.

What’s the transformation you want to experience? What’s the 1 % improvement you can make today? Will you make the effort?

Now excuse me, I gotta exercise because otherwise the my inner Arnold Schwarzenegger is not going to become reality.

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