How the 80/20 Rule Can Set You Up for Self-Care Success

How often have you started a wellness routine only to lose interest and start feeling like it
was becoming more of a chore? Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle to maintain a healthy balance in our life, not because we lack the capabilities, but because in our
overachieving society, “all-or-nothing” goals can set us up for failure in the long run.

The 80/20 rule,
or the Pareto Principle, is a more practical way of introducing new habits into your lifestyle without over restricting things you love. The principle teaches us that 20 percent of our focus delivers
80 percent of the results.

Essentially, it reminds us that we need to prioritize our limited time on
what is most important.

The 80/20 rule allows you to give yourself small indulgences, so that you aren’t living in a state of
constant deprivation. The idea is to unwaveringly honor your commitment to big changes, while providing room to ease into your set goals and overall wellness plan.

Instead of thinking, “I’m going to
lose 15 pounds in the next three months,” instead say, “I’m going to increase my workout by one minute each day.” Racking up mini-wins will keep you motivated, and it has been proven that the act of
crossing an item off your to-do list releases dopamine in your brain—it literally makes you happier.

Here are six ways to help you create a balanced self-care routine utilizing the 80/20 rule.

Proactive Scheduling

Uncertainty is hard to live with.
Trying to determine the time
commitment of a particular activity or how long will it take to
achieve a goal can throw off the
best of intentions when it comes
to developing a wellness plan.
Taking the time to map out your
self-care routine at the beginning of each week will take the
guesswork, and the stress, out
of your days. Spend one hour on
Sunday mapping out the week
ahead by scheduling your exercise, self-care, and meal plans in
a planner for the week. By working in seven-day increments, you
allow yourself to experience the
success of mini-wins. Proactively
thinking through your week
ahead will help you to stick to
your plans and ignore less important distractions that come
up mid-week.

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Fitness at Home

Committing to your fitness
goals can be a daunting task, so it’s important to develop
a system that sets you up for
success. If having to travel to a gym is going to prevent you
from working out, there are
many at-home programs that
can provide the same benefits.
Start by purchasing a yoga mat
and weights and setting up a
dedicated workout space in your
home. By relocating your workouts to a place that is convenient for you, you are boosting
your chances of committing to
your plan.

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Go Clean with Beauty

The “go clean” movement has
taken the beauty industry by
storm over the last year, and it’s
hard to ignore the long-term
benefits of these products. Completely overhauling your beauty
cabinet is not always practical
(or financially possible) but it’s
something you can work toward
over a period of time. Start by
determining what is an achievable change for you in your
beauty routine, and what will be most impactful. For me, it’s
a daily moisturizer, rather than
an infrequently used eyeliner
pencil. I love knowing that this
one change is making my skin
healthier on a daily basis.

Burning the Midnight Oil

Essential oils have been a
favored holistic approach in
healing for many years and their
benefits are vast. Incorporating
essential oils into your routine
doesn’t take up a lot of time, and
delivers noticeable benefits. If
you are trying to improve the
quality of your sleep, try diffusing lavender at night. The easy
setup helps create hours of a
sleep-conducive environment.

Friends and Family

The 80/20 rule can also be
applied to how you spend your
time communicating with
friends and family. Over the
course of the day, you may
spend hours sending countless “haha” texts and memes to friends. While connecting
frequently is important, we tend
to sacrifice depth of connection
for quantity. Instead, try making
one phone call or FaceTiming
versus sending texts—the texts
are just filling time and not
necessarily helping to build
stronger connections.

Working from Home

Working remotely is becoming
a common trend where people
are given the autonomy to
work from the comfort of their
own home. As someone who
works remotely, I have often
found myself distracted with
my looming “at-home to-do
list” of laundry and cleaning,
and therefore haven’t been as productive at work as I’d
like. My solution? I carved
out a dedicated work space in
my home that was not only
inviting, but also fostered
productivity. I also designated
certain hours of the day as
“professional” time, helping
me to mentally block out my
domestic to-do list. Compartmentalizing space and time
offers self-imposed rules that
help govern the day.

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