Have you wanted to lose weight, but couldn’t get yourself off your butt and go for the jog every morning?
Or have you always wanted to invest your money for the future, but can’t save hundreds of dollars every month?
Or you have this amazing idea for a startup, but don’t have the courage to quit your job to work on it?
Everyone has long term goals like these, but we don’t start working on them.
Reason: We want to commit to the goal 100% and be sure that it would work. And we are not even sure if we could continue working towards the goal every day.
The solution to this is to have something which works good enough today – something which works 85% of the time. This is what Ramit Sethi of “I will teach you to be rich” calls “The 85% solution” in his book.
If you want to hit the gym every morning, start by going atleast 1 day every week. Do it for a month and gradually increase it to 3 days a week and so on.
Want to save few hundred dollars every month? How about setting up a monthly automatic transfer for $50 today. Most of us can live if we don’t have that $50 this month. After couple of months increase it to $100 or something higher.
About your startup, why not work for just an hour every night after your day job? Thats about 7 hours (even more if you put in extra hours during the weekend) every week and it adds up to 30 hours every month.
The idea behind this is to have a system which will make you get started with as minimal effort as possible. The start is the most important part and once you find it is working, soon inertia will make sure that you keep going. And using this method means, you won’t feel guilty even if you didn’t go to the gym for 1 day.
85% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
This is what I decided for Blogial. I could’ve waited for my entire life to build the custom blogging application in Django or I could start today with just just a wordpress install and the default theme and write good content. The wordpress route is the 85% solution and it is far better than the Django App which doesn’t even work yet.
So go out and work out in the gym today and don’t worry about tomorrow. Remember doing it once a week is better than thinking of doing it every day.