51% rule - a process of decision making

What decisions are you holding off making?

Megan Miller

Our team receives questions frequently about what the best fitness or nutrition plan is for an individual. While we have a general lifestyle framework that we try to help members incorporate into their everyday lives, the ultimate answer is… it depends. Specifically, it depends on your desired outcomes. It will all boil down to the decisions that you decide to make based on what best fits your life, and the long term habits that you feel you can do forever. Let’s dive into what that all means.

Decision making 

Making decisions is hard. Even small decisions can feel daunting when there are a lot of them. And decision fatigue is real. We are more connected than ever, we have more resources than ever, and we are busier than ever. The result of all this is that we have more decisions to make than ever. How will we spend our time? What will we wear? What will we eat? The list is endless. Over time, these daily decisions become habits. For nearly every single person, some of these habits are positive ones that we are consciously choosing in an effort to better ourselves, and some of them are negative habits that we may or may not be fully aware of.

The average adult is faced with 33,000 to 35,000 decisions a day. That is over 1,000 decisions an hour. It’s no wonder why making decisions or having the discipline to make the “right” decision can be a challenge. If you’re thinking that 1,000 decisions per hour seems like too high of a number, you might not be factoring in that many of our daily decisions have become habits (like turning left at the stop sign on our way to work vs. turning right), so they may seem automatic. Yet, they are still decisions. There are also many decisions in our days that require much more conscious brain power. 

So, how can we make the best decisions, especially ones that will help break negative habits or ones that are “big” decisions of life? Here is what we have found to work.

51% rule  

A new way to consider decisions you need to make is through the lens of “The 51% Rule”. The basis of the rule is this: Whenever you are faced with a decision, if you have 51% certainty about your decision, then make it and move on with confidence. The reality is, most of the decisions we make are not life-and-death. If you think back in your past to a “bad” decision you made, my hope is that you learned from it and now have a new tool in your toolbox to make a “good” decision in the future. As we start to make better decisions, the compounding effect over time is massive. 

The reality is, none of us have a crystal ball to tell us the right decision every time. If you can have confidence in yourself that the decision you are making is 51% beneficial to you at that very moment, then make it and move on. We will never know with 100% certainty if a decision we make will have the perfect outcome until after the fact. At Rise, we are big proponents of not being afraid to fail forward. Because we believe that failure can teach us invaluable lessons, there doesn’t have to be any fear associated with The 51% Rule.

When you are ready to talk with a personal trainer, head here. Our Rise team would love to chat with you about decision making and how it can help you toward your goals.