The Pareto Plan

Here’s my number one rule if you’re just starting your fitness journey:

Every day, do one thing to improve your health before you do anything else.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to roll out of bed and go straight for a jog. It just means that the first thing you do every day should make you healthier.

I’ll give you some suggestions in a moment.

“Pareto’s law” is sometimes called the “80-20 rule” because it states that you can get 80 percent of the results from 20 percent of the effort. The law can apply to your workouts, your nutrition, your investments and a dozen other examples.

The key is to identify and complete the most important things in your day before you get distracted.

We all know we have to exercise.

We all know we should eat less sugar.

But we’re all pulled in so many distractions that our best plans are sometimes just wiped out by normal life. We plan to go to the 12:30pm workout at No Excuses CrossFit, but then someone else takes a long lunch break. We plan to eat more vegetables but the fridge is empty — and then our kids need a pickup from the park when it’s time to shop for groceries. I get it!

If you’re just starting out (or if you need to add a new habit), choose something you can do first thing in the morning.

For example:

If you’re not eating breakfast, do that. Wake up 10 minutes earlier, cook an egg and eat it with a piece of toast.

If you’re not exercising, do a simple routine before everyone else gets up. 20 minutes is fine — but you have to sweat.

If you’re exercising, do 15 minutes of stretching or yoga.

If you’re having trouble with stress or anxiety, get up and write for ten minutes. Or pray or meditate.

Pack your lunch instead of ‘running out to get something’ when you’re hungry later.

Of course, you can lace up your shoes, slap down a ball cap and show up at No Excuses CrossFit for morning group too. 

The key: every day, do one thing to improve your health before you do anything else.