Sometimes in the workplace, you have to endure these management spiels with their management lingo but occasionally something piques your interest.  Once such notion, which my office preaches but does not practice, is the 1% better policy.  You don’t have to improve 100% off the get-go, that would be impossible, self-defeating and overwhelming. 

No, you just need to pick one thing and improve that.  Then pick another, and then another after the first becomes a habit.  This doesn’t apply to work because they want 150 improvements in all areas and they want it Now…. so very demanding and needy.  However, when it comes to making health improvements, gradual is best.

So I like this because often we take on too much and when we fail we feel like we will never get anywhere with our health. Yet if we just take it in small increments to a larger goal we can make steady progress in the direction we want.

Improvement by 1% intervals

My 1% to improve my fibromyalgia:

Has been starting to eat yogurt every day to help ease the whole IBS. It works if I do it every day. The previous 1% being to vastly increase my fiber intake. And now the IBS is well controlled in most non-migraine days (Migraines have similar digestive Issues)

My 1% with migraine:

Is adding vitamin D and magnesium supplements.  My neurologist said I should add the D, due to my fear of the sun and sun-like objects.  Magnesium is one of those things that those with FMS need more off, plain and simple and really helps with the whole muscle spasm thing, but it is also very important for migraines.

None of these are huge dramatic changes. 

Well, I guess the eating fiber and yogurt are when you consider due to migraine-related nausea and decrease in appetite I considered supper to be The meal of the day… so really adding food throughout the day is beneficial on many fronts and took me a bit to get into the habit of.  Seriously, I needed to remind myself to eat and not eat for the pleasure of eating, but because of the potential benefits of what I was eating.

I have faced defeat many a time when trying to overdo things. 

Exercise being the biggie.  I have troubles with muscle fatigue but I can exercise… problem being the substantial pain it causes, then times 2 the next day and then lingering for about three more days.  I went bowling once and walked all gimpy for a week and that hurt like hell… and I like bowling, dang it.  The problem with doctors when it comes to fibromyalgia anyway, is they are all about encouraging exercise and for very valid reasons; we stop doing things because things hurt, this leads to muscles literally withering away, and we can do even less.  What they don’t tell you is that when they say ‘exercise’ when you have FM they actually mean daily stretches, walking, some exercise biking… would have been nice if they told me that off the get-go.

It is like my 10-minute rule I have for cleaning (That my mom gave me). Every day no matter how you feel, you do 10 minutes of housework in an area of the house. It makes you feel productive and slowly things get done. Even on a bad day, I can manage 10 minutes. And that was my 1% for housework. Got me motivated and getting things done around the house.

You know who wins the race?  It ain’t the bunny… its the turtle.  Slow and steady, my friends.

So what will your 1% improvement be today?

See also on chronic illness:

How does your illness define you

The weight judgments with chronic illness

6 Quick tips for chronic illness

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