One thing I noticed when I was pregnant was that I was often really harsh on myself for what I ate.
I eat pretty healthily (I know that’s relative!) – but if I had a bad day, I would treat myself to a donut or a chocolate bar.
And I was getting more and more annoyed by this.
Why can’t I think about the baby?!
Surely I should be able to resist a chocolate bar or two for a few months?!
I should be eating healthily all the time – what kind of a start in life am I giving this baby!
And then I remembered something I learned way, way back – when I was probably ten years old…
The 80-20 rule.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this, in some format.
The idea is aim for 80%, rather than 100%.
As soon as this idea popped into my head, I felt relief.
Because it’s true.
It’s not realistic to be perfect 100% of the time.
(It would be great – but it’s not realistic.)
A much better way to look at it is to be comfortable with doing something 80% of the time… rather than expecting 100% and beating ourselves up or being disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
We can use this in so many areas of our life…
So here’s a reminder, for when you need it:
80/20 is always an option…
In fact, it’s a better option than striving for 100%, all the time.
80/20 is perfectly fine.
80/20 will get you through.
So you’re a good dad 80% of the time?
You’re calm with your partner 80% of the time…?
No one is an emotionless, unresponsive human.
We all have our buttons pushed from time to time.
We can eat as healthily as we can… but we don’t need to feel like Terrible People if we eat a piece of cake.
As my mum said, when I told her I was eating sugar and drinking the occasional tea during my pregnancy:
“Better to drink a cup of tea and feel relaxed, than deny yourself the tea and feel stressed and miserable all day.”
(Yay for mums, and other wisdom-providers in our lives!)
So how can you apply this to your own life?
Well, be okay with 80/20:
Work out a few days a week instead of every day, if that’s what you need.
Be on “top form” 80% of the time instead of 100%... you’re human, after all!
80/20 is plenty :)
I'd love to know your thoughts - you can post a comment, or send me an email (I love to read your emails!)
With a mixture of hugs and good wishes, in the ratio of 80-20 ;)