The 1/3, 10/30, 100/300 Better Every Day Formula

As opposed to doing a reflections and resolutions blog post which I've done the past few years, I've decided to share a formula that I've developed and I'm going to test out in 2019. My theme for 2019 is about giving my best to everyone. These activities will help me accomplish that.

I call it the rule of thirds, but it's simply a mnemonic to remember areas of focus. It's built on several principles from stoic philosophy, modern thought, Biblical truths, historical wisdom, and common sense.

The 1/3, 10/30, 100/300 better every day formula

1 percent better every day
3 main things to get done today

10 minutes prayer and/or meditation
30 minutes reading

100 push-ups
300 sit-ups

1 percent better every day

"It can seem a little far fetched sometimes, making these grand assumptions out of such tiny details." - Mary Morstan
"That's not quite right is it. In fact the little details are by far the most important." - Sherlock Holmes

As I wrote last year, the simplicity and sheer impossibility make this a great daily reminder to be better than yesterday.

Ryan Holiday's recent article on how to develop better habits references the concept of "atomic habits", a small habit that makes an enormous difference in your life.

Ryan references a story James Clear tells in his atomic habits book about how the British cycling team's maniacal focus on 1 percent improvements produced outstanding results.

Here's a few nuggets from the 1% manifesto:

  • There is not a separation between pleasure and work. Try to mix both in something called life.

  • Stay committed to your goals. Revise them every now and then.

  • Make lists. Create projects. Commit to actionable small goals and reward yourself once you've achieved them.

  • Less is more.

3 main things to get done today

“If you wish to improve... be content to be seen as ignorant or clueless about some things.” - Epictetus

Asking, "what are the 3 most important things that will make the biggest impact in my work or life today." And then do those things.

Do the hard things first. They usually aren't as "hard" as you thought they were.

Trick to help is to put them on the to do list early, and keep them visible (for me this is just writing them down in my notebook).

In 2018 I made a marked shift at work from individual contributor, to manager. I am smack dab in the middle of the "player-coach" role that HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos talks about in his blog post "From Individual Contributor to Manager". In 2019, my 3 things are even more poignant due to this big shift, and many of my 1% improvements need to come in this area.

10 minutes prayer / meditation daily

"The ancients did it. The top performers do it. You should do it." - Luke Tucker

I mention this in my post, Startups are Hard (#45). Meditation has been shown to help people stress less, focus more and even sleep better. Try the Headspace app, I've used that before and it's great.

I've been doing daily devotions and "quiet" time for over 20-years so it's ingrained in my process which I'm thankful for. When I don't start my day here, I feel out of sorts.

30 minutes reading

"Readers are leaders and leaders are readers." - James Maxwell

In 2016 I read 44+ books, not so much in 2018 but I probably read about 1.5 - 2hrs per day on average.

If I fancy myself a writer then great writers do 3 things: Consume lots of content, Curate the best of that, and Create new content.

This is what I do with Zero Daily and my aforementioned daily devotions reading the Bible.

100 push-ups + 300 sit-ups

"I like to sit back and enjoy the pain. I've earned it." - David Goggins

I'll lump these final two together as it's basically the same: focus on physical exercise and health. This 100/300 came from a story I remember my friend Ryan tell about a guy he knew who did 100 pushups a day and 300 sit-ups a day for a summer and they got to be in great shape.

I like to keep things simple with my workouts, and these exercises travel well. I only need a flat surface, with enough space and I'm good. So you can do these at a minimum in your hotel room if you're traveling and if you have little kids like me, do them while you're on kid duty - watch the kids play or the little one hangout in a rocker and do the 100/300 for the day.

Here's some quotes from Jesse Itzler's book Living With a Seal to motivate you (and me) to do your 100/300 and more today.

  • Every day, do something that makes you uncomfortable.

  • I don't think about yesterday. I think about today and getting better.

  • It doesn't have to be fun. It has to be effective.

  • If it want to be pushed to your limits, you have to train to your limits

  • I earned it. Now I'm going to enjoy it.

  • Everyday is a challenge, otherwise it's not a regular day.

  • If you can't do the basics, you can't do shit.

  • I'm on alert. High alert. Even when you don't think I'm on alert, I'm on alert. Even right now, I'm on alert.

  • You can get through any workout because everything ends.

  • Don't get too comfortable. Ever.

  • If you're hungry, run faster. You'll be home quicker.

  • Be ready for anything at any time.

  • The tougher the conditions, the more I like my odds.

  • Fear is one of the best motivators. Anger is the other.

  • I don't celebrate victories, but I learn from failures.

  • If you don't challenge yourself, you don't know yourself.

  • I don't stop when I'm tired. I stop when I'm done.

  • If you can see yourself doing something, you can do it. If you can't see yourself doing something, usually you can't achieve it.

  • The only easy day, was yesterday.

Bring your best every day

My family deserves my best every day.
My friends and co-workers deserve my best every day.
My neighbors deserve my best every day.
Strangers deserve my best every day.

By focusing on the details and the rule of thirds, I can improve my life and the life of those around me.

The 1/3, 10/30, 100/300 activities are not meant to be all-inclusive to life as in a complete recipe, more of a starting point or framework to build on.

Here's to becoming the best version of you in 2019.

"Turn one day into day one." - Anonymous

View Comments