80:20 of Optimal Health & Fitness

I had a discussion this week with someone who was getting a little frustrated, and perhaps even overwhelmed, with everything that they had read and learnt about the challenges they are facing.

There seemed to be a mountain of different things they need to change and it also felt like it was a prison sentence, not a joyful experience doing them.

One thing became apparent to me: the lack of flexibility with this plan of action.

I felt like if one thing fell out of optimal the whole thing would come crumbling down.

I can tell you from experience, both personally and having worked with clients one to one for the last 15 years, the 80:20 rule really does work.


If you have three meals per day for seven days, that’s 21 meals for the week. If 17 of those meals are ideal, according to your needs/goals, that leaves you with four meals where you can have a little treat. A little MORE of what you fancy.

The problems arise when it’s 17 meals that are ok, but not quite right and four that are “perfect”. That’s usually what I get to see when someone has complaints.

Or if you get to bed by 10.30pm six nights per week then it doesn’t matter if one night per week you go out late until 3.00am, for example.

Have a little think about what your goals are, what actions support those goals and what 20% of “slack” might look like for you.

Let’s stop crucifying ourselves because of external expectations from things we see in the media.

Let’s learn to love and accept ourselves more deeply.