Change is a crucial component of life, and whether it is positive or negative, it significantly affects us. However, positive change is the best form of change, but implementing it is not always an easy task, as there are numerous factors that come into play. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that positive change will be successful. It is a lengthy and tedious process that involves small changes in several aspects of life to ultimately lead to an overall effect. While the idea of creating several small changes may seem daunting, it is not impossible, and it is a popular concept known as the aggregation of marginal gains.
Dave Brailsford, a trainer of professional British cycling team Team Sky, was the first to pioneer this idea. He postulated that by improving small, manageable aspects of an individual’s lifestyle, they could witness a significant overall impact. He suggested that through small 1% improvements in daily habits, individuals can overshoot the competition in the end. For instance, improving aspects such as the comfort of the seats and weight of the tires, among many other things, yielded impressive results.
To apply the principle of aggregation of marginal gains in everyday life, one must initiate small and manageable 1% changes in specific aspects of their life. The goal is to develop 21 healthy habits after 21 days, which translates to significant improvements in physical and mental health, productivity, and overall quality of life.
Here are some daily actions that one can adopt to create a positive change:
Day 0 – Make a Firm Decision to Change
Commitment is the first step towards achieving anything, and this principle applies to creating a positive change in one’s lifestyle. One should make a firm decision to embark on the program and start implementing small but significant changes in their life tomorrow.
Day 1 – Drink Less Soda
Soda contains sugar and calories; therefore, reducing its intake contributes to the overall reduction of calories. Instead, one can opt for drinking more water, as it contributes positively to overall body health.
Day 2 – Walk for 30-40 Minutes
Walking for 30-40 minutes is an excellent way of burning calories and keeping the body active. The walking session can be divided into smaller sessions of 10-20 minutes to make it more manageable and consistent.
Day 3 – Eat Salad Before Lunch and Dinner
A bowl of fresh salad before meals fills and satisfies the stomach, which minimizes overeating. Additionally, it is an excellent source of micronutrients, fiber and leads to an overall healthy lifestyle.
Day 4 – Read 10-20 Pages of a Book
Reading has numerous benefits to an individual’s mental and emotional health. Aside from being entertaining, it often broadens an individual’s thinking and perspective on life. 10-20 pages a day translates to reading at least one book a month.
Day 5 – Do Bodyweight Workouts
Incorporating bodyweight workouts into a fitness routine helps improve an individual’s physique, confidence, and overall mental and physical health.
Day 6 – Warm-up and Stretch in the Morning
A 3-5 minute warm-up and stretching in the morning are beneficial to the body. It helps to reduce tension in the muscles and prepares the body for the day’s activities.
Day 7 – Learn a New Skill for 30 Minutes
Learning new skills is essential to an individual’s personal and professional growth. One can dedicate 30 minutes a day to learn a new skill and grow their knowledge.
Day 8 – Replace Unhealthy Snacks with Fruits and Nuts
Fruits and nuts are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Instead of eating unhealthy snacks, one should substitute them with fruits and nuts.
Day 9 – Take Supplements
Vitamin D and fish oil supplements are essential for overall body health. Vitamin D contributes to bone density while fish oil helps maintain healthy skin and mind.
Day 10 – Moisturize After Washing the Face or Shaving
Moisturizing the skin after shaving or washing helps to retain the softness and elasticity of the skin, which promotes a more youthful appearance.
Day 11 – Do Cardiovascular Exercises
Cardiovascular exercises often elevate the heart rate, which helps to improve overall body health. Exercises can include running, cycling, or jump rope training for at least 10-15 minutes, twice or thrice a week.
Day 12 – Brush and Floss Teeth After Meals
Oral hygiene is essential for overall health. Brushing and flossing after meals helps remove food particles and prevents tooth decay.
In conclusion, change, positive or negative, is a necessary component of life. However, implementing positive change may seem challenging, but it is achievable with the implementation of small and manageable changes. Through the principle of aggregation of marginal gains, one can create significant positive changes in 21 days that translate to improved physical and mental health, productivity, and overall quality of life.