“Good enough” rarely cuts it. If you were having surgery or your car were being repaired, you likely would not settle for good enough and would want to be as close to perfect as possible. But there are other times when good enough is, well, good enough. Take your meal or exercise plan, for example. Have you ever beaten yourself up for not following a diet perfectly or skipping the gym? When we demand nothing short of perfection from ourselves, we feel defeated when we don’t deliver. We may even be tempted to throw up our hands and end up right back where we started.
We’ve recently started kicking our workplace TOPS meetings off with something that I like to call, “Tell me something good.” This is an opportunity for us to share something healthy we did over the past week, no matter how small it may seem. We give praise and props for things like walking during morning break, skipping the drive-thru and showing up for a workout even if we feel totally unmotivated. If we are pursuing perfection, it can be easy to overlook all of these “little victories.” But it’s the little things that keep us going and give us something to smile about.
One unhealthy meal will not totally derail our efforts just as one workout will not automatically make us fit. It’s the things we do over and over again that lay the foundation for our overall goal. Slip-ups, splurges, gains and plateaus are bound to happen. When they do, focus on what you’ve been doing well, what adjustments you can make and how you can move forward.
To paraphrase TOPS friend and Real Life contributor Dr. Michelle May, perfection isn’t possible. Fortunately, it’s not necessary either.