Progress vs. Perfection

A little core work for our finisher on Thursday.

A little core work for our finisher on Thursday.

As most of you know, we are in the midst of the Whole Life Challenge. I shared some information with the WLC crew that many said was helpful for them...so, I'm sharing it with you as well. It is not my own; credit goes to Dr. John Berardi. What I hope you take away from this is that your workouts , your nutrition, your sleep, really any of the variables that make up your overall health and fitness do not have to be "all or nothing". The danger in this mentality is that when life gets in the way of perfection, the only remaining option is a return to ground zero. The better option is a baseline level of health and fitness that you dial up or down depending on what life is throwing at you. Missing a workout or forgetting to pack your lunch doesn't have to result in a crash down to beer and donuts. Setting a goal or working to make positive changes in your routine can be incremental rather than black and white. Read on and see if any of these ideas register with you.

Nowadays I like to think of my fitness and nutrition efforts as a dial.

There are times when I want to dial my efforts up, and times when I want to dial them down. But I never want to turn the dial off completely.

Here’s how this plays out in the context of my life.

Sometimes, say when I’m training for a track competition or concentrating on a particular goal, my fitness dial might be tuned to 9 or 10 out of 10.

Channel 10 means I work out every day. Every meal is planned and carefully considered. I think a lot about fitness. And not much about anything else.

Work, family, hobbies…they’re all in maintenance mode (with the permission of the people this affects, of course).

However, as I write this, my life involves the following:

  • Settling into a new home.
  • Conducting major home renovations.
  • Raising 4 children, including a new baby.
  • Running a growing business with nearly 100 team members.
  • So these days, the dial rarely goes past 3 or 4. I work out, maybe, three days a week. And most of my meals are just “good enough”.

(For the record, I’m totally cool with that. There is no guilt about having my dial set a little lower. What’s most important is that the dial is still set to “on”.)

The important lesson: There’s a big difference between tuning your dial to 3, 2, or even a 1, and turning the whole thing off.

And when you realize how doable — and effective — channels 3 and 2 and 1 can be, you see that there’s never a good reason to hit “pause”. 

I get it. It’s easy to discount the lower channels. Especially when you’ve done more in the past. But remember your new mantra…

Perfection never happens in real life.

We’re always going to be doing the best we can with what we have.

And that’s okay.

We can still make progress toward our goals and still improve our health and our fitness – whatever’s going on in our lives.

That progress doesn’t happen if you “press pause” and wait for a better time.