I was in a meeting the other day when I heard someone say “Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress” and it kind of stuck with me. It was in reference to a potential business deal. He was cautioning other team members not to get lost in every last detail of the plan before seeing any actual execution. He was frustrated with the way projects have been run in the past by this agency in that they wanted to cross every t and dot every i in the planning phases before even lifting a finger in the execution phase. Which unfortunately in this case led to many projects never actually lifting off- but a lot of highly detailed and thorough plans. I would agree that having a thorough plan is great in many situations, but if the plan is never executed, what’s the point? As I thought through this statement I discovered how easily applicable this principle is so many things in life- including eating healthy and being fit.
We tend to put an enormous amount of pressure on ourselves to achieve perfection in so many aspects of our lives and I see if so often with diet and exercise. There is an “all or nothing” mentality that is so hard to break for so many of us. I’ve seen many individuals hesitate to start an exercise plan or start eating healthier because of this. They put pressure on themselves to be perfect from the get-go. They need a perfect plan and they need to execute it perfectly- otherwise they consider it a failure and usually throw in the towel. What’s even worse, and I see it so often, is someone not starting at all because of the fear of not being perfect.
Almost every day I come in contact with someone who tells me that want to be healthier, lose weight, “tone up,” get fit or just look and feel better overall. If they’re willing to give me about 15 minutes I can tap into their motivation and reasons WHY it’s important to make changes, convincing them to just start and take it one step at a time. It can be overwhelming thinking “tomorrow my diet starts.” You don’t have to change EVERYTHING immediately- but you should start to do SOMETHING immediately. My advice for starting a healthy routine is to not wait for perfect! Don’t wait to figure out all the details of what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it and when you’re going to do it. If we wait for the perfect plan and the perfect time to start- we might not ever actually start. Even a single action is a success. A single action is one step closer to where you want to be and one step further from where you were. Some of the most successful clients I’ve had took it slow- painfully slow. To the point where at times they were frustrated with the rate of their success saying to me “WTH Amanda?”. I encouraged them to be patient and ‘trust the process.’ So they listened and at 6 months, 8 months, 12+ months they were able to look back and say “wow! Look how far I’ve come!” without it feeling like an overwhelming takeover of their life.
Taking it step by step is manageable and realistic. Life is busy, hectic, challenging and time flies! Even if you were to put together the perfect plan, you probably wouldn’t be able to stick with it for very long. Take a small step today and be proud of that step, regardless of the size. Focus and be excited about the healthy choices you ARE making not the ones you aren’t. You’ll get there eventually, you might not be there yet but that’s okay! Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. Progress is more important than perfection.
If you want help figuring out what those first few steps should be or just need a little accountability don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always happy to hear from you and provide any guidance I can.