If we spend 100 hours learning to do an activity that interests us, we would expect to have gained quite a lot of skill in that area. But the amazing thing is, that 100 hours is just 17 minutes a day, for one year.
17 minutes a day does not sound at all significant. But doing the same thing for 17 minutes “every day” can have amazing results in our life. In fact, if we want to change our life, it is the small things that we do day, after day, after day, that will make this happen. This is called the compounding effect.
Imagine we chose to spend 100 hours watching/listening to someone we admire, teaching us to surf, or how to make money, or how to improve our relationships. The result we would have at the end of a year would be huge. And all it takes is 17 minutes every day. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
If we do something once, it usually makes no difference. But if we do the same thing repeatedly, it can make a big difference. This is true for business, health, relationship, money, skills and many other things.
The compound effect also works with things like losing weight. If we are over weight and we starve ourselves for a day, we don’t suddenly become slim. It is the food choices we make every day that will change our weight. But this can work for us. If we need 2000 calories per day to maintain our weight, but we eat 100 calories less every day (one slice of bread and butter), then we will lose nearly 5kgs in a year. Eating 100 calories less on average, every day, is the key. The reverse is also unfortunately true. Eating 100 calories extra a day, will put on nearly 5kgs in a year.
Another example of how the compound effect can impact on our lives is our health. We can do things like smoking every day, which will badly impact our health over one year. Or we can do things like yoga every day, which will result in us being healthier and more supple, in a year.
We need to look at our lives and see what activities we do repeatedly every day, and ask ourselves the question “how is this going to impact on my life over the next year?”. If we want to change our lives in a positive way, we can decide what we want to change or improve, and then dedicate 17 minutes every day, to doing it. At the end of a year, we will have clocked up 100 hours, and our life will be different.
Written by Lynda Timperley. Btch, Dip psych, Cert Life Coaching.