I’ve decided to apply my approach to maintaining a healthful lifestyle, to other personal goals. I’ve often reassured friends who fall short of a desired daily exercise or diet plan, to repeat after me: “So what?” Take a breath, acknowledge that you did the best you could for today (you’re permitted a diversion), and just keep going.
Health experts now concur…it is what you do over time, not on any given day, that maintains fitness and health. Consistency is the key! If you’re not 100% all the time, it won’t derail your overall success, as long as you remain committed to your goals. Thus, there’s no need to get discouraged and quit when you lose momentum. Apparently, small steps, taken persistently, surpass the infrequent, “perfect” effort. In other words, stay focused on the “big picture,” and you should have plenty of room for flexibility and spontaneity within the daily snap-shot of your life.
While I’d successfully applied this philosophy to my fitness and diet regimen for years, I was missing the same point with other life ambitions. With my more daunting aspirations, like pursuing a career change or adopting disciplined writing habits, I had a self-defeating, “all or nothing” approach. I would gear up and expect to perfectly achieve the “big picture” all at once.
As life will have it, some days I was less productive, and this would discourage and derail me. It was as if one “lesser accomplished” day could determine my overall ability, progress, and prevent what was still possible. Until, one day, after finishing a quick, mini, “couldn’t do it all, but at least I did something today” workout, I made the connection. With any endeavor, consistent actions, small and large, collectively add up to manifest results and benefits along the way.
We’ve all heard successful people say success was realized, not by achieving perfection everyday, but by persisting through the inevitable mistakes, stumbling blocks, and “failures” along the way. Two steps forward, one back, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting anywhere. You are still on your desired path! A long-term, realistic, healthy diet and exercise program allows for days off, setbacks, and modifications. This mindset can help you approach all of your goals and aspirations. Just keep moving forward with your goal in mind. By the time you reach a desired destination, you may find you’ve already been living the life!
Does consistency outperform perfection? I believe that it does. I’ve been guilty of having the “all or nothing” approach. It doesn’t serve me well. What do you think? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.