I recently attended a financial planning conference and had the privilege to hear James Clear speak to our group. He’s the author of Atomic Habits (great read, btw) and spoke about getting 1% better in your life every day. If you accomplish that, you’ll be 33% better in a year’s time. This can apply to your health, your relationships, your job, your productivity or even your finances. Getting 33% better at anything seems daunting, but I can handle getting 1% better at something.
I’ve begun applying some of his talk into my daily life. I make my bed every morning and intentionally spend some devotional time before I pick up my smartphone. We also began implementing Clear’s system at the office. Small changes can bring big results especially if you chain these small tasks together.
When it comes to your personal finances, small tweaks to your behavior can have seismic results for your future. For example, if you forgo the Venti at Starbucks each day, you’ll save about $1,200 in the next year. If you put $20 a week into a savings account, you’ll have $ 5,200 in five years. Often, financial freedom is a result of what you don’t do, as much as it is what you do. We see that successful retirees developed a mindset early on to save more and spend less. They held off on spending too much on certain things and now live a fulfilled life in retirement.
For many that haven’t saved, retirement seems like an impossible dream. I like to say that you can’t change what happened, but you can control what happens next. You can’t go back and re-do what’s been done in your financial life, but you do have the opportunity to change what the next five years looks like.
Tolstoy wrote “true life is lived when tiny changes occur.” How are you going to get 1% better today?