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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Progress

In Forge. More on Medium.

Success isn’t linear

Photo: Trevor Williams/Getty Images

Every year around this time, the same piece of motivation makes the rounds: If you want to do something new and you practice it regularly, you’ll get a little bit better each time. You may have heard of it as the “1% rule” — the idea that continuously improving by just 1% makes a dramatic difference over time.

It sounds great. For anything you’re attempting, the promise of steady, incremental improvement can be a powerful incentive. But it’s also often unrealistic, especially if you are already skilled to begin with. For example, try telling someone who currently deadlifts 500 pounds…


A classic kindergarten tool is a great motivator for adults, too

A closeup of a star sticker award progress chart.
A closeup of a star sticker award progress chart.
Photo: KatieDobies/iStock/Getty

As a creative right-brained thinker, I’m highly susceptible to shiny-new-thing syndrome. I’m great at thinking big and brainstorming lofty goals, but when it comes to taking the necessary steps to get there — ooh, look at that new opportunity over there! Wait, what was I saying?

Over the years, though, I’ve developed some systems to keep myself in check and actually get things done. These systems have helped me to write novels, lose 120 pounds, and build a business. …

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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