The 1% Rule and Goals vs. Systems

When I first started working out, I wanted to see abs immediately. I remember waking up every morning and staring into my full-length mirror from every angle, simultaneously playing with the lighting in my washroom.

I woke up and started my day with disappointment. I never saw any change day-by-day. Everything looked the same. One giant ball of fat. When I look back now and remember where my body was and where it is now, I realized I’ve changed a lot.

Day-by-day it’s hard to see changes. But when you look back in time, everything seems different. For me, my goal has shifted from getting abs before (date), to improving a little everyday. The 1% rule is the most effective way to improve.

The 1% Rule

Every week aim to improve by 1% physically, emotionally, and mentally. A series of baby steps is less daunting than having the overarching goal of ‘have abs before (date),’ or ‘be happy,’ or ‘be smarter.’

Those goals are too large and hard to satisfy, in their own right. But when you aim to improve by 1% every week, you stop focusing on the big picture.

Improvement is made through a succession of little steps, not one large grandiose move.

Be active everyday (and eat healthy) and abs will be around the corner. Find happiness in the little day-to-day activities. Start reading or researching something you’re interested in everyday.

Whatever it may be, improving on it by just 1% each week adds up. Before you realize, you’ll look back and see how much you’ve changed.

Throw Away Goals, Develop Systems

Goals are okay for most people, in the sense that it provides some rough estimation of an endgame. Other than that, goals are terrible.

Sometimes you have too many goals and can’t satisfy them. Sometimes, you never reach your goals and are discouraged completely. Goals are terrible in that sense.

Instead, develop a system. Systems > goals. A system is a particular way of doing something, each time improving on it. A goal is just an endgame. When I started working out I would do abs every single day.

I had the goal of getting abs within the first 3 months (I failed). Then I moved that goal to the next 6 months (I failed). I was frustrated and moved it to within a year (I failed).

And I kept failing. I realized I had my mind so dead-set on the goal that I forgot about the system. My goal was abs and I did abs (that didn’t work). My system was be active everyday and I got abs (that worked).

Doing abs every single day became repetitive. I changed up the routine all the time, but before long, I burnt out. I would go through these ‘phases’ of short bursts of abs, followed by long hiatuses.

Goals never work. When I switched to the system, the mere daily activity made my abs show. For me, I believe systems are better than goals. Develop your own systems that improve you by just 1% every week.

You will see real physical, emotional, and mental changes each week and it will keep you coming back for more. You will thank me for it.

Be bold, be free, and love on.


24 thoughts on “The 1% Rule and Goals vs. Systems

  1. So true! I went through the same thing! Once I changed the way I was looking at it, big change happened! Way cater that I had planned it in my previous goals! Human mind and repetition are amazing when combined! Thanks for the great share 😉


    1. I personally love it. You never really notice changes day by day. These things are only noticed in a time-shock. I find it true for all aspects of life.

      The human mind is an amazing thing. The more, I learn the more I want to learn. I hope you enjoyed my article.

      Thank you for your comment. I really enjoyed. Please don’t be a stranger.

      Leroy M.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I would too! Please use the contact me page via my blog and we will work together sometime soon!

      Thank you for your consideration! 😀


  2. Leroy
    I loved your analytical thinking. Thinking about it goals are just a word. If you did not achieve within the set period you will be disapponted but if you replace this with system, i believe there is higher chancecof achieving that goal.

    I love tea with sugar and i love drinking many cups a day. I realized my sugar intake was on most days approx 10 tsps plus I eat other things contained sugar and that is lot of sugar day. I had to stop this but didn’t how to. I want my teas and i want sugar in it. So one day, I tried sugarless tea.tasted horible. I could not drink it. So next day, I put half the quantity. Wasn’t the great taste but drinkable. Now after two months of small decrements I can drink tea without sugar and can satisfy myself. Yes i fully agree with your statement goals-systems. Thanks for this post. Keep writing i love your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words! That’s really good to hear. Little victories are the way to go.
      Those baby steps are the acts that will keep you from being discouraged when trying to overcome

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂


  3. That’s a nice one. When I was in College I read about the Tao: westerners are obsessed with the goal, the destination. If you fail to reach the goal, you’re frustrated. If you achieve the goal, what next? The Tao (meaning the way, the path) is the important thing, what matters is the the road, the path, not the destination. Looks like you0re a Taoist! 🙂
    Thanks for the follow

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I don’t align myself with any religion but I do relate most of myself to Taoist/Buddhist. I do enjoy the life teachings they have. There is no obligation to Taoism, as there is with other religions.

      But you’re right. That’s what I’m talking about in my own little way. The road is the most important here. The road is what leads to growth, not the actually attainment of the goal. It’s hard to see that. But sometimes it takes a good long look at yourself to figure it out.

      Your comment was well thought and insightful. Please do not be a stranger!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love both your ideas, Leroy. I% change is easier to do than expecting a large change overnight. Plus small changes give small results which encourage you to continue moving forward.

    Persons always speak about SMART goals, but many times persons get side-tracked and goals are forgotten. Then a next year comes around with another list of goals to do. With your example, the system was the habit that you used to get want you wanted. It is easier to see progress and stick with it with a system. That is why some of my goals failed too. I keep thinking SMART goals instead of thinking about the systems. Some systems that I use work, but I did not notice them so it means revising and focusing on creating more systems.


    1. Exactly! I feel like systems beat goals any day of the week. You’ve hit the nail on its head. You don’t need to look into the future. Just have a possible endgame in mind and everyday, week, and month, slowly work towards it. Expecting success overnight is an instant failure, in my opinion.

      Thank you very much for your comment! It was greatly appreciated!


  5. I like how you said implement a system instead of a goal. Systems are something which must be worked step by step in order to progress towards achieving the set goal in mind. When you just follow upon a goal you tend to only think the big picture and become frustrated and give up when it is not produced quickly. Great read.


    1. You’re completely right! Goals should be there as a rough end-game. I say rough because all you need is the idea of it. As you start developing a system, the goal will change according and shift. As you progress, you will have achieved your ‘goal’ but it will not be the same goal you had in mind before you started your quest.

      Thank you very much for your input and comment! My readers and I appreciate you! Please visit again soon! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! You are right. Those incremental improvements compile and before you know it, you’re stronger, better and faster (much like the million dollar man) – insert laughter here-

      Please visit again! 🙂


  6. Hi guys…thanks for the visit. You have no idea how potentially life changing it may be for me. I know that the thoughts you’ve presented about baby steps isn’t new, but the concept of systems vs. goals, and not getting bummed by the slow progress that’s hard or even impossible to see in the short term, is what a perfectionist, like me, needed to hear. I’m a “all or nothing” sort. I would rather not start, then get depressed but the 1 millionth failure. Defeated has been my middle name for a LONG time. I’ve reposted your post on my page, with a few comments of my own. Visit if you get a chance and feel free to give anymore tidbits of wisdom. You truly are two helpful guys already to me. Hugs, Hope


    1. Wow, this comment truly made me smile. I am awestruck! Thank you so much for the kind words.

      Yes, I truly believe in systems. I think it helps shun away from the larger picture to focus on the here and now. Today, what can you do to be better, to act better, to feel better. Little steps towards a larger goal. That being said, the 1% is directly for perfectionists. Perfectionists are gung-ho and jump hard and fast into something, often expecting ridiculously positive results almost immediately. When that isn’t achieve that, they get discouraged and ‘it’s on to the next.’

      How do I know this? Well, I’m a perfectionist. But I’m slowly moving away from it, with these methods. I’m reminded of a quote I really love:
      “Long term consistency beats short-term intensity”

      This reminds me not to commit everything and expect outrageous results and it reminds me not to burn out. I’m incredibly glad that that post helped you. I love the feeling that it brings. Thank you so much for all your love and support!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Leroy,
    Thanks for visiting my blog, and thanks for this post – it’s eerily similar to some stuff I wrote when I had (past tense) a business blog.

    For a while I was an organising and productivity consultant, and changing thinking from goal-oriented to system-oriented makes a big difference (although it’s also something that a lot of people just flat-out refuse to do).

    I think perhaps it’s because implementing a system means a longer commitment and a greater change, and there’s an element of magic thinking about having goals: it’s as though once you’ve set a goal, you’re automatically going to achieve it. Sadly, no!

    I like that quote, too – “Long-term consistency beats short-term intensity”. I’ll have to remember that one.


    1. Really? Glad to see that someone thinks similarly to myself! Most of my knowledge on systems comes from one of my favourite authors (Author of Dilbert).

      I think in the end, people have to pick something that works for them. For some people, a combination of short/long term goals works for them. I can see how short-term goals work. For one, it provides a series of ‘small-wins,’ Which keeps them coming back for more everyday!

      You’re right though. It does mean longer commitment, but as you said, it produces greater results! What you get is equivalent to what you put in.

      Bruce Lee was a wise man!
      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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