This blog is a continuation of yesterday's article.
After you have set your object, you need to plan how you are going to reach them. But that doesn't mean writing down your ambitions for the year; it means planning for each day. I wrote about how I planned to cycle around Australia when I was 19 years old and how I managed to do it, covering 18,000km in 8 months. As well as before you set off, you also need to improve your ability every day to achieve the objective.
I love the story of the British national cycling team: in the 76 years before Sir Dave Brailsford became director of British Cycling in 2002, the team had won only one gold medal. But Sir Dave's 1% improvement rule helped the team won seven gold medals on the track at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The 1% improvement included washing their hands to reduce infectious diseases and avoid getting sick.
Let's take this tiny 1% improvement and apply it to my bike ride around Australia. Let's say that I cycled every day for about 220 days in 8month because of some rest stops and bike repairs in town, which is about 10% of the days I didn't cycle. On my first day out of Sydney, I only cycled about 20km. Towards the end, I remember that my cycling distance is averaging 120 to 150 kilometres a day, and there were four days when I cycled over 200 kilometres. That's about a tenfold improvement in my ability to ride a bike. This fits in perfectly with Sir Dave's story of improving by 1% every time.
When started at Sydney: I rote only 20 kms a day
When I crossed the Nullarbor Plain: I could ride 200km with a lot more stuff
If you improve by 1% a day, then by compounding (1.01^220), after 220 days, you will be nine times better than you were at the beginning. This is what I have experienced, so I believe that by improving by 1% we can achieve great results. And it's essential to enjoy the process of improvement. The more you enjoy doing it, the longer it will last. The longer you do it, the more significant the improvement in your ability.
This theory and my experience are why I ask the su-re.co team to write down a plan for the day every day and try to achieve it. You don't need to make a big improvement, just a 1% improvement a day.