We human beings are a flawed bunch. There’s no use pretending we’re perfect. The 80/20 rule accepts this fact, embraces it, celebrates it. It’s a simple philosophy: instead of being good 100% of the time, or even shooting for 95% (you know who you are), I find it’s much, much more realistic to move forward under more practical - and let’s face it, more fun - terms.
After much time spent on both extremes of the saint and sinner scale, I’ve found a happy medium with this ratio. Eighty percent of the time, I’m very good. I eat like a yogi, I’m active several hours a day, I get a full eight hours of sleep. Twenty percent of the time, I eat my favourite comfort food (chips, salt and vinegar if you must know). I drink a little too much. I generally go off the wagon of all that clean living. The 80% represents my foundation, the fundamentals of what I do to feel good and healthy and strong. The 20% is my release valve from all this do-goodiness, and it makes normal life much less of a chore.
A little pepper in your daily salt is actually beneficial: for your mind, your spirit, and your morale. Just as too much excess is obviously a bad thing, an excess of monk-like habits can undermine the very things you’re trying to achieve. The 80/20 Rule is ultimately about living a balanced life. Not too much of a good thing, and not too much of a good-for-you thing either.
If your own personal balance is 70/30 or 75/25, so be it; find the formula that works for you. The point is that abstinence from all fun is not only a big drag, it’s also not sustainable. While on paper, all that purity may be healthy as can be, it’s not a prescription for long-term wellness - physically or emotionally.
So lighten up a little. Dance, sing, eat too much, stay up too late, laugh with friends, finish the brownies. You just may find that the happiness you experience while cheating on your normal routine brings its own health rewards.