About Me

You could call me a natural health nerd. I'm a husband and father of four young kids. I wear funny looking toe shoes. I wear out podcasts and audiobooks faster than people can make them. I get paid to ask thoughtful questions and I love writing about what I learn.

 

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  • Christian Elliot

Progress Over Perfect

Updated: Nov 26, 2019


How’s your month been? You haven’t missed a workout, gone off your healthy eating plan, stayed up well past your bedtime, or bypassed your daily reflection time have you?


OK, whew. I have too…glad it’s not just me.



Here’s another confession. I’m confident I’ll miss more workouts in my life, and also succumb to less-than-stellar food choices from time to time. BUT…am I going to beat myself up about it. Nope.


Instead, let's play a little game called


A LIE AND TWO TRUTHS


A lie. All or nothing. It occurred to me a while back that perfection is an illusion. Truly, who do you know who executes perfectly on everything? No one does. It’s part of being human.


Truth #1: Perfection isn’t required to make progress. Consistency is. If perfection was required, what would ever get accomplished? Nothing.


Truth #2: There’s no neutral in life. We’re either progressing or we’re not. BUT regardless of the pace, there has to be a tipping point of progress vs. no progress?


THE TIPPING POINT

Can you make progress being on track 51% of the time? Well, assuming you picked the right things to focus on, yes you can. Will a pace like that take a long time? Yes, a painfully long time.


Let’s look at this differently though. What was a passing grade in high school? 70%. If you were wrong 30% of the time, they still would pass you on to the next grade. I think there’s some wisdom to that.


Yet, for some reason, we tend to treat a lot of goals (especially health goals) as if we have to execute perfectly (100%) or we might as well not even try. That can’t be a mindset that does us any good.


A BETTER WAY TO LOOK AT GOAL ACHIEVEMENT


So if perfection is an illusion, and 70% is passing/progress, why not arrange our goals in such a way that we know what 100% looks like, and let 70% execution be our minimum standard. If we can’t hit 70% we have to reevaluate our priorities.


Would that approach create a little more grace in your life? I think so. Would 70% keep you making progress? Assuming you picked the right habits to focus on, absolutely it would! Is it as fast as the illusionary 100%? No, but you’ll still get there.


“BUT I WANT TO (INSERT GOAL) AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.”


If you really want to swing for the fence, try raising your standard to being 80% consistent. If you really get focused (and make some big sacrifices) maybe we can stay on track 90% of the time? But to me, 90+% consistency is Olympian type standards.


For your own sanity, know that a passing grade will get you to your goals.


Remember, consistency is your superpower.


Give yourself a little grace if the year hasn’t started off the way you wanted it too. You’re not perfect. You never will be. Just focus on getting a passing grade. Do that, and arriving at your goals is inevitable.


WANT SOME HELP?


If you could use some help clarifying your most important behaviors, creating an action plan, and staying on track, check out our personal coaching program, or give yourself a 5-minute Sanity Check to see if you're taking on too much.


You got this. And we’ll be here all year with tips, mindset tweaks, and useful resources to help you along the way.


Now, go focus on being consistent at the things that matter,


Christian