The 50% rule is a game-changer. I worked for many years in the behavioral sciences and we always tried to set challenging yet attainable goals for our clients. We would take baseline data, adjust goals as needed, and celebrate small victories almost daily.
Stephanie Mansour, a personal trainer, has a similar approach with her clients. Her modified approach to goal setting is ideal, especially during the holidays. But, it could be a good practice to keep after the holidays, too.
Be Kind (And Patient) With Yourself
The holidays, especially after the difficult past two years we’ve all endured, should be a time to enjoy. Hopefully, this year, people can take pleasure in small joys, spend time doing things they love, and (hopefully) relax.
“Relaxing” or de-stressing looks different for everyone. Some people love to de-stress by exercising. (Weird, right?) Some de-stress by baking cookies, eating all the aforementioned cookies, or drinking a bottle of wine. Then, afterward, when the bloating and hangover set in, all productivity and goals might be abandoned. This might leave you feeling defeated, which is no way to spend the holidays.
What’s The 50% Rule?
The 50% Rule is just what it sounds like. You take your ultimate goal and cut it in half. “The 50% rule is simple: You only put in 50% of the effort toward your goal. In other words, take your goal, whatever it is, and slice it in half.” Mansour explained to Today.com.
Instead of feeling guilty, upset, or defeated for abandoning whatever your goal is, you will likely feel uplifted and excited when you reach the more attainable goal. Mansour continues, “For years I’ve been using this method myself and because it worked so well in helping me maintain my own health over the holidays, I decided to start introducing it to my private clients. I have been blown away by the difference it’s made.”
Exercise, Holiday Desserts, And Alcohol
Examples include a client of Mansour’s who had set a goal to walk 10k steps daily. She advised her client to aim for 5k steps instead, and guess what? Most days she surpassed her goal and felt encouraged and excited instead of defeated.
Desserts are a holiday season staple. Whether it’s Christmas cookies, chocolate pie, or Little Debbie Christmas trees, we all probably have a favorite. Mansour’s advice is to not avoid all holiday treats, just eat half of what you typically would. So, instead of eating several cookies, just take two. Mansour states that she breaks a cookie in half, and eats the other half when she would be going back for seconds.
Alcohol is ingrained in our culture, and typical holiday parties involve a lot of booze. Mansour says instead of going to either extreme–abstaining or over-indulging–she estimates how many drinks she would have at a holiday party and cuts it in half. Instead of three glasses of wine, she would have one and a half glasses at the party. Mansour states doing this makes her “more cognizant of my alcohol consumption and allows me to enjoy myself while ensuring I have a productive and energetic morning the next day!”