the 80/20 rule
Hello beautiful people. Today I want to talk about this thing called the “80/20” rule. Some of you have may heard of it and just gone along with the person who was talking about it- “yeah, yeah. sure, sure. 80/20.” and then just actually be thinking, “what? what is that? am i supposed to know what that is? is that a thing?” It is a thing and I’m here to break it down for you.
The 80/20 rule is a guideline for life that basically helps you not go crazy.
We’re done here.
No, but seriously, how many of you have felt overwhelmed when trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle, or a diet, or a workout routine or when you’re trying to live in a green home, or…? It can be suffocating to take on something new and stick to it 100% of time and life. So we either give up entirely when temptation or confusion arises, or we feel like a crazy person drowning in health dogma. I tend to be the person who wants to give up and run away when things get too confusing or time consuming or when I don’t know the answer. When that next holiday with all the yummy treats that make me feel terrible in the long run rolls around, I want to either run away or to dive right into the chocolate peppermint cake. Or when there is a group meal that is being provided by someone else, it would be rude not to take part or to make a big deal about my diet or lifestyle and how i can’t eat this or that. So…what? Do we just give up and throw caution to the wind and just eat all the things that make us feel terrible all the time? Or is there another way?
80/20 is a mindset of doing things the way you’re “supposed to” or want to 80% of the time and then kind of not giving a (insert word of choice) about the other 20%. To “live a little” as some friends are inclined to recommend to you. So what does that mean to you? What does “living a little” entail? For me, “living a little” does NOT mean getting a gluten, soy, chemical, hormone filled corn dog that will make me super sick. But it could mean getting a regular manicure or eating a gluten free dessert with all the regular sugar in it. Ideally, I could live in perfection land and never eat a single bad thing and never put a hormone changing fragrance on my body or use a strong cleaner once a year for that really gross project. But that just isn’t life 100% of the time and I promise you, you will go crazy trying to achieve perfection. So, for me, I choose what is important to me. For me, it is important to avoid gluten 100% of the time because I will not be able to function. For me, I try to avoid sugar and use maple syrup and honey instead, but there are times where I will eat a good old gluten free cake with all the other “bad stuff” because it’s delicious and someone (even myself) made it. For me, I try to use clean and green beauty products, cleaning products, but I also use public bathrooms sometimes with the triclosan filled anti-bacterial soaps. This should not scare me into fear of chemicals, nor make me feel guilty. For me, its a balance. The scales are tipped and the 80% of the time should be the strict, rule-following way. But I tend to think that’s a negative way to look at it. It’s not rule following and annoying if it’s the way you want to live your life because you feel that is the healthiest option for you and you want to feel your best. It’s not stifling, because you choose your rules. You choose what is important to you in your life. Then the other 20% can be your grace. Live your life!
I don’t know if I have ever met a successfully healthy person who doesn’t have their own 20%. The girl who works out 5 days a week and eats all organic also bleaches her hair and eats artificially dyed M&Ms now and then! “Gasp! How could she!” Because that’s part of her 20%. The guy who eats a vegan diet and bikes to work every day uses conventional chemical filled shaving cream, because it’s his favorite. “Um…dude, there are better products, don’t you know?” But he likes it! 20%. The mom who makes all her own baby food and cleans with essential oils and vinegar gets gel manicures and buys fast food once a week for her kids. “What?? That ain’t right!” Well, it’s keeping her sane and a allows her a break so she can continue to be a good mom. 20%.
So don’t judge yourself or others too harshly for not being all on all of the time. Perfection will never be achieved even if you’re trying really hard because what if your favorite coconut oil spray that you’ve been using actually has soy in it and you forgot to read the ingredients that one time? Things happen and I’m here to tell you that it’s ok. You figure out your 20% and try to stick to the good stuff the other 80%.
Go forward with grace, my friend! Choose what is important to you. And I’m here to help you with that 80%. Keep in mind that your friend’s 20% might look a little different than yours. <3