Progress not Perfection
Good and done is better than perfect and never done.
Ahh the joys of perfectionism.
If you can relate at all to being a perfectionist, you know the beautiful evils of the journey to get there. We set out and have a vision of what we think something should look like and two steps in things don't happen the way we think they should, so we abort the operation and stop before we ever really get started.
My guess is that this has happened to you sometime in your life? Maybe even on this journey so far??
Maybe you signed up in April and thought, "In May, I'm getting my shit together. I'm working out, and I'm going to crush my nutrition. I'm going to have a team of people supporting me, and this time I'm going to do it 100%."
Then May hits and you randomly have friends staying with you, or you go on vacation, or have a crazy week. Maybe you have every intention of working out but you are called to stay later at work, or it's down pouring and you can't get in your 3 mile run that you had planned.
Here's the thing about perfection - it's not real.
***The closest thing to perfection I've ever seen has only happened once to one person in my lifetime, and that person was Lin Manuel Miranda. He wrote a little show called Hamilton, and it took him 6 years to complete with tons of rewrites (Sondheim was close in the first act of Sunday in the Park with George, but the second act was weird except for "Move On."). I digress.
You will never get to perfect.
There will be setbacks and unplanned obstacles. You'll feel great some days and shitty others. Some days you'll pack your lunch and plan to eat a perfectly balanced meal, leave it on the counter and have to get something from the vending machine. Wah Wahhhh.
These obstacles and set backs do not have to stop you. One misstep doesn't mean you've failed or that you have to throw in the towel.
Here's a secret:
You're gonna fuck up, and it's okay.
You're going to have intentions and plans, and they aren't going to come to fruition. Things are going to look differently than you originally envisioned, and it will be your ability to adjust and keep going that will keep you heading toward your desired outcome -- even if the timeline changes.
It's likely you've seen this picture or something like it.
Yeah man. That's it. There will never be a time in life where point A to point B is a straight line. There will never be a 12 week span (or a 4 week span - heck, even a 7 day span if you live in NYC) where you have nothing going on and can devote 100% of your energy and attention to health and hotness... or a relationship... or a big project. You'll never have a clear schedule for any length of time.
So instead of perfect, can you start to think about progress?
A great tool for progress is to think on a continuum.
Here's an example with food:
Now you have a wide range of options. And the best news is, if we are thinking about progress not perfection, one notch toward the right is progress... High five to you! You never have to get to perfect.
When you're eating a meal, ask yourself, what's one thing I can do to make this one notch to the right? Maybe you're out with friends and your one notch to the right is getting a salad with your burger instead of fries. Maybe it's a night of drinking and instead of slamming 6 beers, you opt for a few vodka sodas.
Thinking on a continuum allows for progress to be noticed and celebrated and gives you wiggle room without the options being good/bad or perfect/failure.
This can be applied to your workouts as well. If our continuum is 0 to 6 days a week, celebrate your progress. If you did 3 last week and 4 this week - AWESOME! Progress.
Also, if your workouts are EXACTLY what we programmed, but you snuck in a quick bodyweight workout at home, that is badass. You didn't do it wrong. You did something... anything.. you did it!
It's hard to get out of the mindset of perfectionism or black and white, but starting to take on a progress mindset, or continuum mindset, will help you SOAR in this life and take away so much guilt and right or wrong.
So mindset habit #2 - progress not perfection.
No matter what has happened in these first two weeks, you're great! We have 10 more weeks AND AN ENTIRE LIFETIME to go. We're taking it day by day, and hopefully this progress mindset will help keep you fresh and plugging along in this marathon of a life we are taking on.