Perils of Perfection

If you consider yourself a “perfectionist” but struggle to accomplish your goals, it is important to recognize that aiming for perfection doesn’t always lead to satisfactory results. In fact, when it comes to pursuing your health goals, striving for perfection can become the enemy of progress. The pressure to attain perfection can lead to inaction, procrastination and even injuries.

Constantly scrolling through Instagram in search of the perfect workout plan or getting distracted by the latest and greatest diet trends can be overwhelming and counterproductive. Pushing yourself to train every day as if you are competing in an Ironman competition can set you up for failure and also increase the risk of injury.

However, it is not just the search for perfection in your actions that can cause inaction. Many times in life, we find ourselves waiting for the perfect time to start working on our goals. The truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect time, and waiting indefinitely may lead to regret for wasted opportunities. 

One of the main stumbling blocks is worrying about what others might think. It’s important to remember that nobody is perfect, and you certainly won’t make progress toward your health goals by not taking action. The pursuit of an ideal body and optimal health often leads us to believe that we must work out for hours on end, six days a week. However, this all-or-nothing mentality and the pursuit of perfection has derailed many well-intentioned fitness goals.

Instead, shift your mindset away from the perfection trap. Stop delaying until you find the perfect workout plan or the ideal time in your busy schedule. Sometimes, a few squats and push-ups are all you need for today. Incorporate them whenever you have a spare moment. For example, while doing the dishes, you can do a few squats or practice balancing on one leg. If you have minutes before a work meeting, opt for wall push-ups instead of idly staring at your computer screen.

Prioritize consistent action and adjust as needed. Make conscious decisions that improve your wellness outcomes and challenge your beliefs about your capabilities. Let go of the notion of being perfect and embrace imperfection as a way to create motivation and build momentum.

Remember, progress is more important than perfection. Celebrate the small victories along your journey and understand that everyone’s path is unique. Focus on sustainable habits, listen to your body’s need for rest and recovery and adjust your approach when faced with setbacks. By shifting your mindset away from perfection and embracing imperfect action, you will find the motivation and drive to achieve your wellness goals.

Source: Complete Wellness Solutions. Completely Well Newsletter, July 2023

Perils of Perfection
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