Tenía ganas de volver a escribir en el blog pero suele pasar que a finales de año la vida se complica y a todo se le adhiere la etiqueta de URGENTE. Los rituales de año nuevo siempre se me hacen bola, porque después de las fiestas termino saturado, sin embargo siempre intento guardarme un ratito para la reflexión (sobre todo en Enero y Septiembre) anotando las futuras metas pero también celebrando las pequeñas victorias. Empezar a todo gas está bien, pero las posibilidades de dejar las cosas con hastío se incrementan, así que mejorar el 1% me pareció un buen recurso./ I wanted to write on the blog again, but usually every end of the year life gets complicated and everything is labeled as URGENT. New Year’s rituals always come to my mind, because I tend to end up saturated after the holidays. However I always try to save a little moment for reflection (especially in January and September) writing down future goals but also celebrating small victories. Starting at full throttle is fine, but the chances of leaving things with ennui increase, so the 1% improvement rule seemed like a good resource to me.


Construir la vida que quieres es un proceso que no tiene como única fecha de arranque el 1 de enero. Tampoco hace falta que el proceso sea el más complicado porque son los hábitos simples los que pueden transformar tu estilo de vida un 1% cada día, hasta llegar al 100%. Parece insignificante, pero apostar por un cambio pequeñito pero constante muchas veces es mejor que las acciones grandes que desaparecen en un par de semanas porque abruman, no son sostenibles y no crean un hábito./ Building the life you want is a process that does not have January 1 as its only starting date. Nor does the process need to be the most complicated because it is simple habits that can transform your lifestyle by the 1% improvement rule, up to 100%. It seems insignificant, but betting on a small but constant change is often better than big actions that disappear in a couple of weeks because they can overwhelm us, are not sustainable and do not create a habit.

El concepto de los hábitos atómicos viene del famoso libro de James Clear. Es muy simple: mejorar un 1% cada día durante un período de tiempo largo en vez de optar por los cambios radicales. / The concept of atomic habits / the 1% improvement rule comes from the famous book by James Clear. It is super simple: improve 1% every day over a long period of time instead of going for radical changes.

Scheme via James Clear Twitter

¿Qué hacer? Dividir la meta en pequeñas acciones diarias. Cada acción de cada día es un 1% y la suma de todos esos días te irá acercando al 100% mientras te vas comprometiendo contigo mismx. E incluso cuando no tengas tantas ganas, el 1% es fácil de cumplir./ How does the 1% improvement rule works? Divide the goal into small daily actions. Each action of each day is 1% and the sum of all those days will get you closer to 100% as you commit to yourself. And even if you’re having a lazy or desmotivating day, the 1% is easy to stick to.

¿Algunas ideas para mejorar un 1% cada día?/ Any ideas to improve 1% every day?

1. Dejar de enfocarse en el objetivo y prestar más atención a como abordamos los métodos. Ejemplo: Hacer amigos es la meta, ir a reuniones o eventos cada semana es un método./ 1. Stop focusing on the goal and pay more attention to how we approach the methods. Example: Making friends is the goal, going to meetings or events every week is a method.

2. Construir un método que te permita permanecer en el juego durante más tiempo. Las metas son buenas para establecer una dirección, pero el método ayuda a progresar./  2. Build a method that allows you to stay in the game longer. Goals are good for setting a direction, but the method helps progress.

3. Maestría en empezar cosas. La parte más difícil siempre es empezar por lo que puedes hacer la regla de los 2-3 minutos. No quiere decir que si tu objetivo es leer más, leas sólo por 2 ó 3 minutos, pero es un buen inicio y que se puede ir incrementando día a día según tus posibilidades./  3. Mastery in starting things. The hardest part is always starting so you can do the 2-3 minute rule. It doesn’t mean you only have to read for 2-3 minutes if your gol is, for example, reading more. But hey, it is a good start and it can be increased day by day according to your possibilities. 

La motivación antes de empezar casi nunca llegará, la mayoría de las veces dicha motivación llegará después de empezar. Es como la pereza de empezar la primera sentadilla, pero una vez que arrancas, ya estás en el juego./ Motivation before starting will -almost- never come, most of the time that motivation will come after starting. It’s that laziness before starting the first squat, but once you’re there the game has begun and you’re body is on the track.

4. Rastrear los hábitos/ Algo tan simple como marcar con una X los días en los que cumples tu 1% y ver el progreso, ya que muchas veces lo que nos hace dejar las cosas es no ver un cambio notable. / 4. Track habits. Something as simple as marking the days in which you meet your 1% with an X to see the progress- Many times what makes us give things up is not seeing a noticeable change.

5. Encadenar acciones. Emparejar una acción que deseas realizar con una acción que si o si debes realizar. Si tu prioridad es salir a correr puedes organizarte para pasar a hacer la compra después del ejercicio. Si tu prioridad es leer más, puedes aprovechar el trayecto en el metro para leer unas cuantas páginas./ 5. Chain actions Pair an action you want to take with an action you should do. If your priority is to go for a run, you can organize your day to go shopping groceries after exercise. If your priority is to read more, you can take advantage of the subway ride to read a few pages.

Todo el mundo quiere una mejora radical, pero son las pequeñas decisiones del día a día las que nos han moldeado (en lo bueno y en lo malo)./ Everyone wants a radical improvement, but it’s the small day-to-day decisions that have shaped us (for better and for worse).

En mi caso personal, este es el año donde quiero regresar a las cosas que me hicieron empezar a diseñar/ilustrar: experimentar de nuevo con procesos y técnicas manuales, dibujar más sólo porque sí, etc. Sé que no siempre se podrá, pero reservar espacios para estos placeres, aunque sean momentos pequeñitos cada día me hace percibir mi trabajo y mi vida de otra manera./ In my personal case, this is the year where I want to return to the things that made me start designing/illustrating: experimenting again with manual processes and techniques, drawing more just for the sake of it, etc. Even reserving spaces for these pleasures, even if they are tiny moments each day, this can help me to perceive my work and my life in a different way.

También hay otras metas relacionadas con el deporte y lo profesional que he comenzado hace poco, despacio pero con pasos consistentes para no tirar la toalla en cuanto aparezca la menor frustración./ There are also other goals related to sports and the professional that I have recently started, slowly but with consistent steps to don’t give up as soon as the slightest frustration appears.

La posibilidad de reinventarse aparece con el número 1 y la táctica de una mejora continua a base de esfuerzos pequeñitos parece ser mi apuesta este año. ¿La regla del 1% no suena tan difícil no?/ The possibility of reinventing yourself appears with number 1 and the tactic of continuous improvement based on small efforts seems to be my bet this year. The 1% improvement rule doesn’t sound that hard, right?

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  • Hola Pablo, welcome back to the net! ^^
    How’s going your year until now? Hope it wasn’t too stressfull for you!
    I’ve imagined that you had a very busy (or better, chaotic) moment when you’vestarted to leave back the blog, so don’t worry!
    I bet that everyone here is ready to welcoming you back with open arms! 🙂

    but let’s pass tothe topic of the day!
    Firstly I’d say that I was amazeed to see how accurate and precise is your work around self-improvemet!
    I mean, that’s a thing the I care a lot too but I’ve always applied the sport basic rule: work every day to get result, and how much you work much more you get results!^^
    Not that its a methematic rule but less or more it works for me.
    There is the risk to exceed in efforts and get the point where you can’t take it anymore (like in sports), but with a bit of balance it works.
    2 things are basilar anyway,and are the same that you’ve said too: create and habit and organization.
    Once you’ve entered this mentality guess thats easier to get your goals, in every field.
    Anyway I’m even pretty sure that, since every person is different, everyone should find it’s own way to do it; netherless your advices are very smart and useful, especially to start!

    Lest’s enjoy those last winter weeks, my friend, and get ready to welcome spring (my fav season)
    Have a great week end!

    • Thank you very much for coming back to the blog Silvia! As usual reading your comment is both refreshing and motivating 🙂 Specially after having a long hiatus (well two months on the blog) but I was super eager to come back with new topics to discuss 🙂

      And yes, the beginning could be tricky but then the habits sticks after practicing for a few weeks, technically 21 days so let’s give it a chance when we want to start something new 😀


  • I have not heard of this rule specifically but it makes sense. Love the name. But yes it was what you do through out the year with intention that really makes the difference. It sounds to me like you have a great strategy. It can be hard for some people to get motivated and to be disciplined. I learned these skills in design school. Have you heard of the books The Artists’s Way or Creating Your Hearts Desire? The second is written by a psychic LOL but it is good. Not sure if they are in English only.

    Allie of

    • Hey Allie, thank you so much for checking out the blog post 🙂

      But yes, getting the discipline is super hard but once step at a time makes the rest a little bit easier.

      Thanks also for the book recommendation! Will definitely check that out!

  • I love this concept, Pablo! It should be taught to everyone, especially children. As I child, I felt I had to be good at something right away or I shouldn’t do it. Comsequently, in school I took classes I knew I could succeed and skipped the art classes. Later I realized that was a mistake. Fortunately, I am making up for that nonsense now.

    Also, I do use something similar to the 1% rule now to get through my day. My health issues (autoimmune disease) make it impossible for me to just dive into a task and get it done. I need to break my tasks down to get them accomplished.

    Great post! I hope your week is off to a good start!


    • Thanks for the comment Michelle! I think you made a good point, it should be taught to children since nowadays due to social media young people tend to get frustrated after not getting an immediate result.

      So happy to hear that you already apply this concept in your daily life errands 🙂

      All the best!

  • Pablo! Welcome back! It’s great that you’ve found time to blog again as I always find your posts to be a nice combination of thought provoking inspiration and lovely visuals. I can certainly understand that how work and life gets extra hectic around the holidays. I hope you managed to complete all your jobs and found some time to rest and recharge yourself and that 2023 is treating you well so far. Like you, I try to look at each new year as a chance to reflect on what worked and what didn’t and how to move forward. I read James Clear’s Atomic Habits a few years ago and I found it quite inspiring as well because his advice was very practical and actionable. The 1% improvement rule also stood out to me because it’s a good strategy that will set you up for success over time and because improvements will occur incrementally, it will also serve as a useful form of encouragement along the way. You have managed to break this down into very useful and easy to follow steps. Starting small was key for me when I got back into working out regularly. I would do 15 minute workouts so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed and I slowly worked my way up. As I saw results and it gave me more energy, I had my motivation to workout daily and it’s become a habit. I wish you luck with achieving your goals. I hope you will find the time to get back to the manual processes of your art. Aside from the personal sense of satisfaction/pleasure it will give you, it will probably inspire your work as well. I did something similar for my photography where I took a photo every day for a year and it was a helpful exercise to get me to see things in a new light as well as improve my compositions. Did you know that James Clear also offers a free email course that goes along with the book on his website? I think you’re pretty good shape though.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my posts. Winter in NYC this year has been surprisingly mild for the most part. Aside from extreme freezing temperatures last weekend, the temperatures have been like a very early spring. I’ve only worn my heavy jacket a few times. Not that I’m complaining because I’m not fond of the cold and my warmest clothes are not my most stylish but it’s odd when winter doesn’t feel like winter. And another strange thing is that we haven’t gotten any snow. I don’t really love snow but I like photographing it because it looks magical when it’s coming down ;p And yes to chic layers in the winter! I bet you have some very cool and colorful socks!

    • Hey Rowena, thank you so much for your lovely message, it feels good to read things like this to get motivated and keep creating.

      Luckily I survived the holiday season and I am here to bring new things to the conversation table.

      So happy to read that you already apply some of these tricks. I have tried this 1% rule for the last month and so far it is working 🙂

      Thanks also for all the extra recommendations! Really appreciate them! ❤️

  • Hey Pablo,

    What a great post! If we can not achieve even 1% of the goals or chores to be achieved in our personal lives. Where does that leave us? I think I have heard of this 1% rule before but have never implemented it and really should give it ago. There is a lot I agree with here, especially finding a method going forward and working with that. I think you would get the best out of your wonderful illustrations from doing it as you feel, a no pressure kind of thing.

    Can’t wait for the next post!

  • Como siempre, es muy ameno leerte! Me quedo con enfocarme más en las acciones que me ayudan a lograr mis objetivos y menos en la meta como tal. <3! Gracias!!!

  • Hey Fungi!

    Love this post because it is a great reminder to divide things up when going for that BIGGER goal. We definitely tend to quit fast if we’re overwhelmed by the goal that we are chasing.

    Hope you’re doing well and can’t wait to see more of your posts this year. Have a great day!

    • Hey Radi!

      Super happy to read that this post was a good reminder for you 🙂

      I am also happy to see you back over here! Greetings!

  • Hi Pablo, I hope everything is well with you! I’m so sorry for such a late response to your comments, but I’ve been busy getting back on track with The Fashion Folks. Anyway, I’m here now and so happy to catch up on some reading.

    I actually have the book Atomic Habits and read it when it came out. I liked the idea to focus on method rather than end goal. It makes sense to implement a habit or two and getting used to doing them every day. And also, so important to never wait for motivation. Just decide you have it now and do it anyway!

    Love, Mia

    • Hello Mia!

      Don’t need to apologize, feel free to come whenever you want 🙂 I also made a short pause to organize other things.

      Hope everything is going well on your side and thanks for stopping by!

  • Ayyyyy cómo amo con todo mi corazón leer en blogs, y sobre todo leerte.

    Aún no termino de leer el libro, y la verdad es que me ha ayudado mucho en este camino del emprendimiento, así como apegarme a nuevos hábitos.

    Antes me pasaba que veía las cosas tan lejanas que prefería dejarlas para después, pero hace unos días escuchaba un podcast que hablaba sobre la confianza en sí mismo, el creerte que vas a llegar a donde quieres o cumplir la meta que quieres, dejar de dudar de uno mismo y con la certeza de que “ya está hecho” elegir el camino para llegar a ello, entendiendo que va a tomar el tiempo que se requiera, así como el esfuerzo, pero siempre sabiendo que ya está ahí esperando por nosotros, una fusión de certeza y disfrutar el camino (el ahora).

    ¿Sabes una cosa? Durante mucho tiempo le huía a libros de superación personal, y ahora soy la más fan, creo que no estaba lista para aceptar lo imparable y mágica que soy.

    • Ay Gabriela, no sabes el gusto que me dio leerte y ver que compartiste esto en tus historias, para mí es el mejor halago ❤️

      Es verdad lo que mencionas, de hecho es mejor empezar (con los recursos que tengas pero empezar) así sea con baby steps, porque es la única manera de ir afianzando el hábito de hacerlo…. con la constancia.

      Espero que podamos seguir compartiendo mucha inspiración por aquí y en las redes :)!

  • Hello Pablo. I hope you’re doing.
    I’m happy to be back on the blogosphere to check on your last articles.
    I love this 1% improvement rule. Like I always love say slowly but surely I’ll get there.
    I get frustrated really easily when I can’t accomplish what I want in one day so I’ll definitely remember your article to feel better I at least did a little percent of what I wanted to do for my day.
    Thanks you for sharing this.

    • Hey Margot, doing well and so happy to see you back on the blogosphere! ❤️

      Thanks for your lovely feedback, excited to see the news you’ll be sharing in the upcoming months!

  • Very inspiring and informative post! I really like the tip you shared about pairing an action you want to do with an action you should do. It’s something I have incorporated in my life to get me motivated too. I also appreciate making small efforts rather than aiming to go all out in accomplishing a goal as I tend to get overwhelmed if the task is too big to tackle or has too many components that are challenging. Always enjoyed reading your post, my friend! I look forward to seeing your fun illustrations as I find them very joyful to look at as you have a very distinct visual aesthetic style. Keep on keeping motivated 🙂

    Wishing you a fantastic week ahead!

    • Thanks for the comment, Shanaz.

      I am happy to read that you have added this small tricks to your routine too :)!

    • Thanks for the comment, Shanaz.

      I am happy to read that you have added this small tricks to your routine too 🙂