To some degree it depends what it is, but 10% isn’t very much really is it?
For your lunch, if I asked you to eat 10% less than you did for your lunch yesterday. You could probably do that, right?
If you normally spent forty five minutes at the gym and I asked you to spend an extra 10% at the gym, you could probably do those four and a half minutes without any major problems.
If you manage to read ten pages of your book before bed, and I ask you to read an extra 10% tonight, I believe you’d be OK getting through that extra page.
10% isn’t that big a deal.
But imagine where that 10% will get you.
Based on an average lunch size of 600 calories, eating 10% less than the norm would mean nearly 22,000 calories less per year eaten, which equates to nearly nine days food for a man or about twelve days for a woman.
Based on only two trips to the gym a week, that extra 10% will result in more than ten extra gym sessions fitted in during the year. That’s a full working day spent improving your cardio.
With an extra page of reading a night, you’d be looking at a whole extra book read during the year, just from one page a night.
Sure, they’re not major life changing examples, but through minimal effort wouldn’t you want to be slimmer, fitter, and more knowledgeable? I know I would.
US journalist Dan Harris takes this theory of 10% extra into the world of happiness, through his 10% Happier app, a mindfulness and meditation support app aimed at improving your life just a little bit. It works under the principle that it’s really difficult to change your life completely, but changing it by just a small amount can have a noticeable impact.
And think of the cumulative effect of doing this.
22,000 calories a year is more than a million calories over a lifetime. That’s over 2,700 doughnuts you’ve not eaten.
Keep it up at the gym and before your new born leaves home you’ll have clocked up a full week extra exercise.
A decade of extra reading gets you over a million extra words that you’ve read. That’s impressive.
So apply this 10% rule to whatever you need to achieve in your life.
If you were 10% more courageous, what would that allow you to do? Ask the boss for a raise, or hand in your notice to them? Ask your crush out on a date, or get out of that terrible relationship you’re in?
If you were 10% more persistent, what could you achieve? Finally finish that thing you’ve been meaning to finish for years, but which is just a little too tough to see through? Call a sales lead just one more time and this time they answer and give you the order you need to meet your target?
If you were 10% more open to opportunity, what might come your way? A new business opportunity from the person on the train you’ve sat next to for the past two years but who’ve never spoken to? A great night out with your work colleagues where you happen to meet the woman or man of your dreams?
10% fitter. 10% thinner. 10% more well off. 10% happier. 10% whatever you want.
No-one is asking you to change your whole life. You can just change it a little bit … say 10% worth.