1 % is All It Takes

1 % is All It Takes

I admit it. I have been in a funk for the past three months. During this time, reading has been my saving grace. I can read romantic fiction and be reminded that love still exists. I can read non-fiction and learn something.

Currently, I’m reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book is about small habits’ impact on your success and your life. 

This concept resonates with me because I have not felt like writing for three months. Anything. Not in my journal. Not in my books. Nothing. 

I even began a five-day writing challenge where all I had to commit to writing was for 15 minutes per day. Fifteen minutes. Surely I can do that.

The first session was pure torture. Oh my goodness, how long is fifteen minutes???

But I made it. Yay. 

I made it through the challenge by the skin of my teeth. This was huge. It was also depressing for a person who typically averaged 1000 words a day and had hour-long writing sessions – sometimes in the middle of the night – before life kicked me in the teeth.

Sorry. I digress.

Reading Atomic Habits resonated with me because I could imagine myself doing 1% of a thing – in this case, writing my books – and feeling like I have accomplished something. And honoring my mom.

Let me explain how this works (in my mind):

Book 2 of my romantic fiction series needs corrections. The book is roughly 16,000 words. To follow the one-percent principle, all I need to do is edit 160 words. 

Most coaches will tell you that if I edit 160 words then I will edit more. I’ve even told my clients “Just write one word and you are almost guaranteed to write more.” 

Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

There will be days when I will feel energized and will edit or write more. There will be days when it will be a struggle to make it to the 160 words.

This 1% principle can be applied to anything you do – writing, dieting, etc. If applicable, figure out what one percent of the task is and determine to do that one piece until the task is complete. 

Find the boy in baby steps. 

One percent is all you need. 

Note 1: This is my over-simplified version of a principle that resonates with me.

Note 2: If you are dealing with any type of grief or mental health issue, Please, Please, Please talk to a professional. There is no harm in seeking professional help. 

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Patricia “Pat” Bumpass is a ghostwriter, self-care advocate, author, and parent coach. She encourages and empowers women and parents with special needs kids to love themselves. Pat is North Carolina “born and bred” and loves coffee — hot or iced. You will often hear her say, “Twertles make me happy.” 🙂 

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