The 80-20 rule and why you should live this way

I’ve just shepherded off my girls and my husband to dance so I can sit down in the quiet of the house on this rainy morning and write this post. After a busy week and previous weekend, I needed this quiet and down time.

I often think of the fall as a slower time of year because that’s what I’d like it to be, but in truth it’s not. In our modern lives, I don’t think there’s a time of year that we don’t fill up with activities, events and things. We’re addicted to being busy. 

Ask yourself this – even when you do have a moment of down-time, what do you do with it? Do you pick up your phone and scan Facebook? Do you call a friend? Do you fill those moments with…something? Anything? I find myself picking up my phone to check my email even at a red light. It’s almost automatic and it’s a terrible habit I’m working on breaking.

In our busy, everyday lives we push aside all about the little things that make us feel good – rest, exercise, good food, quiet and quality time with people we love. It’s all glossed over to make room for all the activities and responsibilities that feel way more important at the time.  We work, work, work until we get a vacation and then we collapse. 

It’s too much and I can wager a pretty good guess that if you’re a reader of this blog, it’s not the way you want to be living.

Ready for something new? I have something I want you try:

Ever heard of the 80/20 rule? It states that 80% of the outcome is determined by 20% of the effort. In other words, by focusing on a small number of important things that will make the biggest difference in your life, you can effectively change the way you’re living and feeling. 20% of what you do can account for 80% of your happiness.

So – let’s make things simple. You likely can’t do everything you want to do to stay healthy and happy, but if you focus on a small percentage of high impact activities, it’s going to make the biggest difference in how you live and feel on a daily basis.

For me – my list of 20% looks something like this. These are the things I concentrate on day in and day out to live and feel healthy, engaged, active and happy.

My 20%: 

  • Eat clean , high quality foods 80% of the time and don’t stress about the other 20%
  • Get good sleep
  • Limit stress by building in down time in my day
  • Spend quality time with my family and friends
  • Practice yoga
  • Do work that feels important and inspiring to me.

Everyone’s list will be different. What does your look like?

My hope is that when I run the next Clean Food Challenge in November, I can help make a habit out of eating clean high-quality foods for anyone who has that on their list of 20%. 

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