With the New Year comes a slew of extremes that leave even the most perfect of people doomed to fail. Each New Year we set ourselves up for disappoint with an endless list of unattainable goals. That’s why I adopted the 80/20 rule--do the good stuff 80 percent of the time and allow 20 percent to be a freebie.
Apply to 80/20 principle and love your life as a result:
Eat a whole foods, plant-based, organic diet 80 percent of the time. But for the other 20 percent of the time, don’t be afraid to splurge. I love a scone a few mornings a week along with a daily cappuccino and an extra glass of wine. I let this slide because I eat a healthy vegetarian diet with ample roughphage. This way I’m able to stick to my diet and in fact, it’s hardly a diet at all. It’s a way of life.
Studies have shown that moderation is the key to success. One study found that candy and chocolate consumers had a 14 percent lower risk of elevated blood pressure and a 15 percent decreased risk of having metabolic syndrome — a collection of symptoms that put people at risk for heart disease and stroke.
I practice yoga almost exclusively but I mix it up with vigorous and less vigorous forms of the practice. For example, a few times a week I’ll do Yin Yoga, which involves holding seated poses for a few minutes with very little movement. Four days a week I’ll do Vinyasa yoga, which moves with the breath and is much more vigorous. And I’ll take 1-2 days per week off. Don’ try and give your workout 100 percent of the effort everyday because you’ll end up with injuries.
Happiness comes from an optimistic, positive outlook. But expecting yourself to have this outlook everyday of the week is just too much. Try and be positive about your life at least 80 percent of the time. This way you won’t waste time beating yourself up for those times when you fall in the gutter.
Studies have shown that giving makes us happier than receiving. That’s why the happiest people are so often generous. But sometimes you can only think about yourself, especially that 20 percent of the time when you have trouble being positive. You shouldn’t fault yourself when you’re feeling a bit selfish.
Spend 80 percent of your day working toward work or life goals. Follow Stephen Covey’s advice and “Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule those priorities.” Devote 80 percent of your day to your most important priorities. What things, if you accomplished them, would move the dial for you on your big goals?
6. Overall Picture
Each month take a look at your overall picture to see if you’re moving toward the list above, abiding by the 80/20 rule. Knowing is half the battle and being aware of your progress is how you succeed.
Read More: 12 Steps Toward Detoxing Your Life