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  • Writer's pictureChuck Cusumano

The 100% Rule

By Jillian Broaddus and Chuck Cusumano

Welcome to 2022!

What are your goals for the upcoming week, month, and year?

As we’ve written about on the blog before, a quarter of people will abandon their New Year’s goals after just one week (by the time you’re reading this, probably half already have!) and – on average – a person makes the same resolution a total of 10 times without success.

So, how can you overcome these statistics and become someone who accomplishes all you dream to achieve in 2022 and more?

Let us introduce The 100% Rule!

It’s simple: give your goal 100%.

This sounds obvious, but think about whether you’ve ever actually done it. The 100% Rule means a diet without “cheat meals,” a gym routine that becomes a daily habit, and a work ethic free from any and all excuses.

Why does The 100% Rule work? HBS professor Clayton Christensen says, “It's easier to hold your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold them 98% of the time.”

Psychology Today explains it further: “Take, for example, a diet. If you're only 98% committed to a diet, then that means you haven't yet made the decision. If you haven't made the decision, but are only partially committed, then you don't know what the outcome will be in future scenarios. Not knowing the outcome of your behavior can create problems in your confidence and identity… If you're only 98% committed to a diet, in every future situation you're in, you have to ask yourself, "Is this one of those times I'm going to eat outside the diet?" By asking this question, usually, while you're in the heat of the moment, you have to weigh back-and-forth in your mind what you're going to do. This whole "back-and-forth" decision-making process leads to decision fatigue or a loss of willpower. In many cases, more often than you probably would like to admit, the situation ends up winning. That's something social psychology research has found repeatedly for decades: Situations are often more powerful than internal desires.”

The same holds true for whatever your resolution might be. If you mentally build in room for gaffes or slacking in your plan, then each and every day begins with the question, “Should I or shouldn’t I commit to my goal today?” This question creates mental stress, decision fatigue, and ultimately leads to a higher chance of failure with time.

We’re not saying to grind yourself into the ground! Of course, listen to your body, prioritize your health – both mentally and physically! – and do what you need for you to have your best year ever. However, if you were wondering what the best plan is to tackle your goals and achieve your New Year’s Resolution, we recommend following The 100% Rule!

If you need help in learning how to commit 100%, we’d love to help! Reach out to and tell us your goal for 2022!

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