Person cycling on a grassy mountain road

The Transformative Power of Incremental Change

We all face challenges that can seem overwhelming. But we can find strength to overcome our trials when we make incremental changes in our daily lives.

Some problems in our lives can feel impossible to overcome. Perhaps a goal seems too challenging to accomplish or a trial too difficult to navigate. When we hit roadblocks that keep us from overcoming these problems, how can we find a way to improve ourselves and keep moving forward?

“For small gains to aggregate, there must be a consistent, day-in and day-out effort.” By Michael A. Dunn


In “One Percent Better,” Elder Michael A. Dunn describes how the British Olympic cycling team had managed to win only a few gold medals in the last century. Their coaches tried to find dramatic, quick solutions, but the British cycling team continued to fail until a recent coach introduced a new strategy. To achieve what he called “the aggregation of marginal gains,” the coach implemented small improvements in each aspect of the team’s cycling, paying particular attention to commonly overlooked aspects like nutrition and maintenance. Since this new strategy was introduced, Great Britain has been the most successful country in cycling during the last four Olympic Games.

How does this apply to personal transformation? When we face roadblocks on our spiritual journeys, we can break down the problem and decide to make one small improvement each day. Read just one more chapter, or one more verse, of the scriptures. Pray just a little more earnestly. Choose a goal, however small, that will take you just one more step in the right direction.

Elder Dunn emphasizes that “for small gains to aggregate, there must be a consistent, day-in and day-out effort.” Although we won’t be perfect in our efforts, we can achieve change by persistently focusing on just one small thing at a time while keeping our end goal in mind. Just like the British cyclists, when we implement incremental change, we can transform the trajectory of our lives.

Read “One Percent Better” by Elder Michael A. Dunn to learn more about using incremental change to transform your life.

Source: General Conference

—Reagan Weston, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Take a look at “Overcoming Bad Habits” by Rebecca Youngs on Latter-day Saint Insights to learn how to replace bad habits with better ones.

Check out “Six Simple Habits that Promote Mental Strength” by Ashlin Holbrook on Latter-day Saint Insights to find out more about spiritual habits that can help us through challenges. Read President Russell M. Nelson’s general conference talk “We Can Do Better and Be Better” to discover how to embrace repentance daily.

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