You know the saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees”… I was living that word for word recently. Sometimes you have to choose progress over perfection to see how much you really do each day.
Sometimes you need to stop, back up, and re-evaluate what is in front of you. Adjust your focus and take another look. You hear it, but nothing is more profound than when you find yourself there in that instance. It’s an a-ha moment that makes a lasting impression.
I began working with a health/life coach in which we were week by week adding new challenges as well as changes to my day-to-day routine. I would like to say I am a coffee addict but more tragically I am a Dr. Pepper addict.
The first change my coach made was for me to drop ONE of my (sometimes daily) three caffeine doses. Easy enough, it was my most guilty indulgence, so I was in full agreement. Week after week, for a month or so changes were made and I easily altered my lifestyle and choices.
There was positive thoughts, conversations with God, breathing exercises, and mindful eating. I was the picture of perfection in my own eyes, meeting each week to tell her how well I had done with the prior week’s new change.
“I was the picture of PERFECTION…”
That was until she gave me what should have been the simple task of changing my morning breakfast to a smoothie. Who would have thought a smoothie could derail me so, but it did. I went nearly the entire week without implementing this newest change. I felt guilty and wondered if I was sabotaging my entire journey.
After all, it was the first week I had failed to immediately and completely adhere to the new step. The reasons for my slip were simple and quite practical. It was the first change that required planning ahead; it wasn’t as easy as saying no or taking time to myself. I now had to plan whether I would use one recipe every day or switch it up to keep it interesting. This change would require keeping close tabs on the necessary ingredients and making extra trips to the store to make sure I kept my smoothies routine on track. It was the first change that made me struggle.
I saw myself as a failure. In reality, I was doomed from the beginning to fail because I was holding myself to perfection. If I had committed any crime, it was in stealing from myself the pride I had in doing so well for some many weeks. The first time I hit a bump in the road I gave up on myself. What a shame. You see I didn’t see the forest for the trees. I needed to choose progress over perfection.
I took a step back and realized the most damaging thing I could do for my health journey was to be so hard on myself for struggling. In reality, I had too many victories to let this one bump slow me down. I decided that I needed to reevaluate and when I did, I loved what I saw. You see, what I found was the fact that I was struggling with this change meant I was making a real change, the kind that makes a significant impact. This conflict really meant fantastic and positive progress for my journey.
Choose Progress over Perfection
I took far more than a health victory from this experience, take it from me…Don’t let the pursuit of perfection cause you to lose sight of all of your amazing progress!
Take it a step further, check out this post about letting go of perfection to set expectations that work for your family