80/20 Rule for Health

In today’s world, we strive for perfection. Perfection at our jobs, raising kids, our homes, and our health. If not perfect, what should we strive for? Let’s focus on an 80/20 rule pertaining to health. We would love to do everything perfectly when it comes to health, so we feel our best all the time. In reality, we have to realize that life gets busy, things happen (planned and unplanned) and that’s where the 80/20 comes in. Instead of letting the stress of wanting to get to 100%, we need to just go for 80%. Going for 80% is actually the opposite of the Pareto Principle 80/20 ideal. The Pareto Principle states that we get the most effect out of 20% of our efforts. I think you can see that if we eat healthily or exercise regularly only 20% of the time, 80% would have a bigger effect than the 20%.

Physicians and health coaches recommend 30 minutes of cardio or weight training five days per week. When I think of exercising five days a week for 30 minutes, that’s trying to be 100%. Some of us may be able to do that. If that is you, I commend you. I strive for 80%, which is exercising 20 minutes 2-3 times per week.

Also, the 80/20 rule applies when it comes to healthy eating. If we grew all our own food and stayed home to cook all our meals maybe we could be 100% healthy in our habits, but that would be nearly impossible in today’s hectic world. I’m a farmer who is on the go all the time and packs lunches 90% of the time. Being healthy 100% of the time with that lifestyle is difficult to accomplish. Instead of stressing over it, I go for healthy 80% of the time and 20% of fudging. The same thing goes for maintaining your supplements. Sometimes we just forget.

The 80/20 rule applied this way for health gives us the flexibility to be human. Most of us can do well 80% of the time. It allows me not to stress over it and understand that life happens and I am doing the best I can.

Let us know your thoughts on the 80/20 rule for health. How does it apply to your health? What tips do you have? Comment below. We would love to hear from you.

Contributed by Carrie Guthmiller

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