The first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one. The next step is figuring out what the hell to do about it. The change required to improve can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, try to just improve by 1 percent everyday.
We could be talking about trying to drop a few pounds, or finally start saving for retirement. You don’t need to make a major change that impacts 10% of your life, instead, you can make 10 small changes that each impact 1% of your life that you’ll never even really notice.
There is a fantastic book called Atomic Habits that talks about making small changes, for massive results. It gives great examples and really lets a lightbulb go off to realize positive change does not need to be difficult.
How do small changes lead to huge results?
Everyone wishes they could be in better shape so let’s start there. Now you could join a gym and go 4 days a week every week, but you would have to find the time and really put in the effort. I am not saying that is in any way a bad idea, but that might take 10% effort. So instead, let’s see if we can make 10 small 1% changes.
- You could park in the back of parking lots, forcing you to walk a little more.
- You could skip elevators and escalators if you are only going up 4 stories or less, use the stairs.
- Make lunch your “healthy” meal of the day.
- Do not eat anything after 8pm.
- Always leave 1 or 2 bites on your plate.
- Get a FitBit to help keep you motivated.
- Eliminate soda and sugary drinks from your diet.
- Get a stimulant free fat burner like Nobi Nutrition Night Time Fat Burner.
- Use an under desk pedal exerciser like the Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser.
- Make a point to get up from your desk 2-3 times a day and just walk around your house, the office, yard for a bit.
Once you do these small changes and start seeing results you can step it up with a gym membership or a strict diet, but you could build those little habits into your day to day routine and really never notice a change.
How to save for retirement with 1%
The best part about this concept is it can be applied to just about everything in your life. So lets try with money, which is probably the next thing people would like to see change the most in their lives.
- You could download the Acorns app which automatically invests your spare change when using a debit card. Click this link to sign up and get $5!
- Shop through Rakuten, were you get money back when you make purchases you would have made anyway, from the stores you always buy from.
- You could open a 0% interest credit card and do a balance transfer to eliminate any credit card debt you may have.
- Consolidate and refinance your student loans, SoFi is one of the more popular options.
- Eliminate cable and get a FireStick and Disney Plus
- 867-5309… did you know if you go to a store with a “buyer’s club” you can just use your local area code and 8675309 from the hit 80’s song “Jenny”. 99% of the time it’ll work.
- Boost your credit score with Experian BOOST.
- Shop for insurance, car, home, renters. If you haven’t changed your car insurance in 5 years you’re absolutely over paying for your car which is now 5 years older and worth less money then it was 5 years ago when you opened the new insurance.
- Ask for a raise, here’s a helpful book that can teach you how to negotiate
- Download the Robinhood app so you can easily invest all the money you’ve saved, use this ROBINHOOD LINK to sign up and get a free stock!
Lets just put together a ballpark figure of what the above might save you and what it might mean for your retirement.
- $1 a day contributed
- $30 a month is cash back
- $40 in interest savings
- $50 a month in interest savings
- $125 a month savings
- $10 a month savings
- Depends if you’re making a large purchase where you’d need a loan so we’ll skip this
- $40 a month savings
- $150 a month increase which is basically the same as a savings
- $0 just a vehicle to invest
So in total, you’ve saved/made $475 a MONTH! Now, take that $475 a month and invest it. An aggressive investment strategy could earn you 12% a year, but just for argument sake, let’s say you average a 9% return every year on your investment of $475 a month for the next 35 years.
After 35 years, investing the $475 a month that you basically will not even notice, and earning just a 9% return, you would have a total of just over $1,450,000. No, that is not a mistake. $1,450,000!!! From money that you did not even notice was leaving your bank account.
Now here is the really amazing thing, if you make wise investments and early a 12% return (which is absolutely doable, considering TSLA is up almost 1,000% in just 5 years) your total profit would be over $3 MILLION DOLLARS!!!
This is why I get so frustrated when people say they “can’t save for retirement”.. Did you even call a competitive insurance company to see if you could lower your home, car, or renter’s insurance? Did you take out a 0% interest credit card to get rid of your high interest credit card debt? Did you ditch cable for better alternatives??? Even if all you could save was $200 a month for 35 years at a 11% return that is still over $1 million! Enough with the excuses. It’s time to change your future with little microscopic 1% moves.
What’s stopping you?
Try it for yourself, figure out where you would like to improve. Perhaps it’s in your relationship, or maybe your work performance. Figure out where you want to be better and improve by 1 percent each and after 10 days you’ll be 10% better.
I highly recommend Atomic Habits, build better habits with small changes and be a better person effortlessly!