Choosing New Year’s resolutions isn’t easy. How do you decide which bad habits to drop and which good ones to pick up?
Let the 80/20 principle guide you
First developed by the economist, Vilfredo Pareto, the 80/20 principle describes how around 80 percent of results often come from just 20 percent of actions.
For example, in most companies, around 80 percent of the sales tend to come from just 20 percent of the products, and the other 80 percent of products bring in just 20 percent of the revenue.
This simple principle also applies to daily life. It’s highly likely that only 20 percent of your habits are responsible for 80 percent of your happiness. Maybe it’s your weekly trip to the gym or a meal out with your partner every Sunday that make all the joyful difference to your life.
However, the 80/20 rule applies to unhappiness too: a few of your habits – too many drinks on a Friday or hitting the snooze button too many times in the mornings – are probably to blame for the majority of your strife.
So when it comes to making the most effective New Year’s Resolutions, try to focus on making changes that will have the biggest impact.
To discover the wealth of insights the 80/20 principle can provide, check out the blinks to Living the 80/20 Way, by Richard Koch.