The Pareto Principle states that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. This is why it is also known as the 80/20 Principle. This is applicable to many areas of life, including business, health, and wellness.
We can apply it to health and wellness by finding the activities that make the biggest changes in your life. Here are 3 ways you can start a healthier year.

Identifying and cutting back on unhealthy foods

By keeping track of our eating habits, we can make changes by identifying the 20% of foods that make up a majority of our calorie intake. For me, it's was drinking southern sweet tea. During college, sweet tea was the number one thing I drank. I
drank 2 to 3 glasses at lunch and dinner... everyday... for several years... If you know how sweet tea is made... you know there is a LOT of sugar in there. By the end of college, I hit 240lbs.
Now I'm down to a more normal 215lbs. I did this by initially drinking 1 fewer glass of sweet tea a day. As that got normalized, I switched to unsweetened tea with an artificial sweetener. When I graduated, I no longer had access to unlimited tea. So I made the switch to diet sodas. My next switch was to sparkling water, and eventually I now strictly drink water.
It all came down to little changes at a time that snowballed into a complete habit change.

Focusing on the most effective exercises

By identifying your biggest physical weakness, you can find out what is holding you back from achieving your goals. By focusing on these exercises and adding them into your day to day habits, you can improve your fitness exponentially.
For me, I had low back pain for years. I was in a weird rut. One day I was able to back squat 315lbs. The next day, I would be unable to even put 135lbs on my back. I would rest for 2 weeks and feel like I was ready to get back on the horse. But then I'd get under the barbell and would not be able to move. I found that I struggled to use my hamstrings. My go to exercise was hamstring bridges. I did them with patients, I did them between patients. I did them as my warm up before any workout. It wasn't about doing a long 20 minute workout. But by training my body to use my hamstrings more and more, I was able to get back to working out without back pain.

Prioritizing self-care activities

Self-care activities are important. The reason why? It's in the name. It's important because it is about taking care of yourself. If you can't take care of yourself, how can you help and care for others? It's also important because pain has many causes.
We know is that there are 3 major groupings of affects. There is the biological aspect (physical), psychological (mental), and social (your world). Self-care helps take care of the psychological and social issues. By improving your psychological and social health, you are able to manage pain better. You will be able to handle more stress and therefore take better care of yourself.
By making a list of all your self-care activities, you can use the Pareto Principle to find the 20% that are responsible for 80% of your well-being. By prioritizing these activities and making time for them, we can improve your overall health and wellness.


In summary, the 80/20 Principle can be a useful tool in identifying the most effective habits and actions for our health. By finding the 20%, we can improve our health and fitness with exponential gains.
Byron  Lam

Byron Lam

Chiropractor, CCSP®, FR® Spine

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