The Rule of 90 Percent

We live in an all or nothing society. Too much black and white and not enough shades of gray.

I’ll let you in on a little tip – an all or nothing mentality can be one of the biggest detractors to progress in any area of your life – exercise, nutrition, business, whatever. Because we often think we have to “be 100% committed to an exercise program” or it doesn’t really matter, right? Or we have to perpetually resist the temptation to have dessert or it doesn’t even pay to be “dieting,” right?

Do you know that more than 60% of people who join a health club will quit after six months? Do you know that more than 75% of people who “diet” will gain all the weight back they lost, and then some?

Why is this?

One of my favorite lines (and one I reference often in my eBook) is “it’s not what you do some of the time, it’s what you do MOST of the time that matters.” People quit health clubs and fail at diets because they aren’t able to find balance between being on a exercise program and eating healthy. They miss one day of exercise and they become a little less motivated…then it happens again…and again…before you know it, they’ve quit. So it goes for dieting as well.

The answer – follow the rule of 90%.

If you can do anything well 90% of the time you’re going to be very successful. I use this in almost all areas of my life.

Working Out & Training: if I hit 90% of my workouts for a given week it has been a great week. Notice I didn’t even say a “good” week…I said GREAT week. I almost never hit all the workouts I have planned because life happens and sometimes things come up. But I never beat myself up when they do.

Nutrition: I try to eat well 90% of the time. When I’m able to do this I feel good and I never feel guilty. But eating well 90% of the time means that you’re eating WELL 90% of the time (not “kinda” well). Eating well most of the time means I never feel bad about having full-fat ice cream and heavy, dark beer the other 10% of the time. I’ve earned it.

Business & Personal: I usually start every day with a list of things I want to accomplish. I also have a slightly broader list that defines the goals for the week. If I cross 90% of the items off those lists by the end of the week I know I’ve made significant progress. Then I can watch TV or a movie…or generally do something “relaxing”…and not worry about the other stuff that should be getting done.

Hopefully these things have helped and I promise if you’re able to focus on the positive accomplishment of the 90% instead of the negative derailment of the 10%, you’re going to make massive changes in all areas of your life.

Cheers to better.

SW