Why aiming for 1% better is much better than aiming for perfection?

So many of us have perfectionist streaks in us and when life gets in the way of our plans (which invariably it will) we typically focus on what went wrong or what we didn’t achieve, rather than the things that we did. And that negative focus often means we go backwards or give up on our goals entirely.

If you’ve ever tried to detox, diet or go into full-on healthy living mode you’ll know exactly what I mean. You overhaul lots of things in your life simultaneously, stick diligently to the rules and then something happens with takes you off track. And because you haven’t stuck to it perfectly, you see that as failure and commonly say “sod it”, binge to console yourself and potentially claim that you’ll start again on Monday. Sound familiar?

We all know that this strategy doesn’t work because we’ve been round the loop enough times. So let’s flip your focus today. Instead of starting with perfection and focusing on how much less than that you are. Try focusing on the exact opposite…so the worst example you can think of in terms of nutrition and fitness….0% fit and healthy. So barely alive with no quality of life, no strength, no ability to move, living of items that aren’t even really food.

Then…

  • reflect on how much better than 0% you already are, without making any changes. Focus on the positives, the things you can build on!

AND

  • choose one small thing you could consistently change to make 1% progress. This might be as simple as buying a breakfast cereal with less sugar in it, changing up your order at the coffee or sandwich shop, or swapping the chips with your burger for a salad. Celebrate those wins and, as they become habit, build on them by making more small changes which take you a step further, so perhaps alternative meals, preparing food at home, etc.

As I’ve said so many times before, sustainable change comes from consistent action. And I thing this sums it up perfectly…

(7 days x 100% perfection) + (358 days x 0% better) = zero change OR even going backwards

365 days x 1% better = significant change!

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