Progress Over Perfection

We are in the middle of February. How are those New Year’s Resolutions going? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably given up on them by now. I’m sure you started out with the intention to succeed. What happened? Chances are, you had unrealistic expectations.

I am an expert at making plans and signing up for programs that promise to help me reach my goals, whatever they may be. I make lists and set up programs on my computer that promise to keep me on track and buy the books. Unfortunately, I forget to open the programs and the books gather dust on the self. What’s my problem? As soon as I don’t follow the program, don’t stick to my goals, or meet my unrealistic expectations, I feel like I failed, so I give up.

Occasionally, we make drastic changes overnight, usually due to experiencing a crisis such as health problems, losing a job, or a broken relationship. To survive, we have no choice but to make changes overnight. Why don’t we succeed at these smaller changes that, by comparison, should be easy? What’s the solution?

  1. Know your why. Often, you may not have a strong enough ‘why’.. Because you ‘should’ will never motivate you long-term. We all know eating healthier, being financially responsible, more organized, exercising more, being more organized, or being more productive are worthwhile goals, but why is your goal important to you? Make it personal.
  2. Have a clear vision. Have a vision of what your life will look like once you achieve your goal. What activities will you be able to do? What enjoyment will it bring you?  How will it change your life?
  3. Have realistic expectations. If your expectation is that you will follow our plan perfectly and when you don’t, you may think you’ve failed and give up. The expectation of perfection is not realistic.
  4. Going it alone. Having support and/or an accountability partner can make the difference between success and failure. Ask for the type of help you need. Do you need someone to hold you accountable or someone to support and encourage you, or both? Don’t be afraid to ask for the type of support you need.

When you’re making progress, even tiny baby steps, you cannot consider that you’ve failed. Small steps add up to massive success over time.


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