You may be familiar with Pareto’s law which states that 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results. This is applies to health and weight loss too.
Let’s face it, everyone wants to be healthier, and for many that includes losing weight. But not everyone makes it a priority and takes action. Maybe because of the time and energy it may require, which are at a premium in this busy bustling world, when being stretched too thin (no pun intended) is half the problem in the first place.
When you get right down to it, failure to act on improving your health is based on only two things; fear of the pain you believe will come with your efforts, and the disassociation to the pleasure you will gain. In other words, the fear that it will be “hard and no fun” eclipses the vision of the desired result.
But if we consider Pareto’s principle, we can transform this belief almost instantly. If 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results, we can just focus on a few high yield items and call it a win.
No matter where you are in the health spectrum I’ll bet you could think of at least 20 things you could do to be healthier and lose weight. If you pick 3-4 items off the list to focus on, you will likely get almost as good of a result as if you did them all. Drinking more water may seem like too easy of a way to get out of going to the gym 5 days a week, but if you are not drinking enough, it may give you more benefit than the exercise. Walking for 30 minutes per day may seem like a copout compared to running a marathon, but the benefits to your overall health may be pretty comparable.
Just for fun make a list of 20 different things you could do to achieve your health and weight ideal. Then divide a piece of paper into 4 quadrants. Label the upper left quadrant “Difficult/high yield” and the quadrant below “Difficult /low yield”. Label the upper right “Easy high yield” and below that “Easy/low yield”. For example, going for a relaxing evening walk may be easy, but it is high yield. Starving yourself is certainly difficult–and it is ultimately low yield.
Now take it one tiny little step further. Look at your whole list, and with a highlighter if you have one, or maybe just underline if you don’t, select the items that you find the most FUN. With the filter of easy and fun, select the 3-4 items that will do the most to give you the body, energy, and life you want. I would call that a win.