Beccy Muzerie |

One per cent better every day

After a busy December – which included winning the Great British Rowing Bake Off! – GB rower Beccy Muzerie looks ahead to 2021

As rowers, we are good at setting goals and working towards them over long periods of time. That is what we do at the start of a season; aiming to collect pots at local regattas, win Nat Schools, qualify for Henley Royal or to compete at the Olympics.

Unlike many New Year’s resolutions that are set, rowers tend to be better keeping at working towards their aims and do often make it to the summer races we set our sights on months before.

“I want to be getting personal bests in the weights room and on the ergo”

Many 2020/21 season goals probably look a little different to previous seasons given the current pandemic, and maybe it is more about maintaining fitness, improving erg technique and finding alternative cross training you can enjoy whilst you can’t row. But regardless, I am sure there are a mix of hopes and dreams for this season out there that are waiting to be fulfilled.

Personally, whilst I have been loving training with the GB Rowing Team again these last few months, I have found it frustrating that I am not seeing the scores and performances I know that I am capable of.


The previous two seasons have been especially difficult for me at this time of year; I have struggled with back problems to the extent that I have missed many months of training with the team, have not been able to go on camps or compete in December trials and even had tough conversations about whether I would have a future with the GB squad. So, comparatively, this has been a great season.

“A tiny improvement will make the biggest difference and will be the most sustainable”

But part of me is still not satisfied. I want to be getting personal bests in the weights room and on the ergo. I want to be feeling like I am in the best shape of my athletic career. But I need to remember it is only January and it is okay that I am not there yet.

It can be easy to be caught up thinking we need to make big changes in our lives. That we need to set ambitious new year’s resolutions and if we change that way that we do things, everything will get better.

There may be a few rare situations where drastic changes are needed, but, for most of us, the reality is that a tiny improvement in the way we do something will make the biggest difference and will be the most sustainable. James Clear writes that if you get just one per cent better every day for a year, you will end up 37 times better by the time you are done. One per cent seems like a manageable percentage to me.


It may not be that you even start something ‘new’. We might look back on the last year, with all its challenges, and realise some previously held good habits have slipped away. Drinking a glass of water when you first wake up, making sure that you spend a few minutes stretching before each session, remembering to be thankful for three things at the end of each day – these are all tiny additions or alterations to our daily routines that can easily be forgotten, but adding them back in can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health over time.

So, this new year I am making no big resolutions. I am just going to remind myself of the little basic things I do well and hold myself accountable to doing them. I am going to trust that if I keep training consistently, looking after my mental and physical health as best I can, in the midst of a pandemic, then the results I want to see will come. I will keep being patient and believing for better days.

Whether your resolutions are big, small or non-existent, I wish you a Happy New Year.

Main photo: Nick Middleton