Instead of “perfect”, try keeping it simple and aiming towards “better”.
Outdoor survival tip…
When you’re running from a bear, you don’t have to run the fastest.
All you have to do is run a little bit faster than the slowest person.
If health were like running from a bear, when you’re improving your choices, you never have to be “perfect”.
You only have to be a little bit better, consistently.
The 0% Game
There are some parents who focus on how much less than 100% their kids got.
As in, “If you get 90% on your math test, what happened to the other 10%?”
Starting from 100% (i.e., perfect) and working backwards means that whatever you have is inadequate, and below expectations. The glass is half-empty.
Looking at the same situation from reverse, gives a much brighter picture.
The reverse is:
1) Start from 0%.
2) Then add.
What is 0% fitness? Well, maybe lying in a full body cast in a hospital bed on a ventilator for a year.
What is 0% nutrition? Maybe eating things that aren’t food. Like old newspapers, Vaseline, or cotton balls. Or rat poison.
What is 0% health? Dead.
How could you apply that frame to your coaching experience?
If 0% fitness is the body cast… what’s your current fitness level?
If 0% exercise is lying in bed immobilized… how much better are your exercise habits?
If 0% nutrition is eating bits of string, dust bunnies, or antifreeze… how much better are your nutrition habits?
If 0% health is dead, then even if you’ve got raging stomach flu today, you’ve gotta be at least 50% healthy.
Does your situation look bright when you reframe, when you start from the worst-case scenario?
The final step is:
3) What would make you one step better today?
What practice would move you just a little bitforward today, to make you just a little bit better today?
Progress, not perfection
Consider two options.
Option 1: Making yourself crazy for a week chasing a “100%” performance, then burning out and giving up.
7 days x 100% effort + 358 days x 0% effort = no change, or backsliding. You end up feeling like a failure.
Option 2: Trying to be 1% better every day, for a full year of coaching.
365 days x 1% better every day = significant transformation. You end up feeling like a superstar.
Results: Focus on “making a little progress” each day rather than being “perfect”.
Start from 0% and add. Notice small accomplishments. Let yourself be “good enough for now”. Take undue pressure off. Be patient.
Keep showing up. Keep trying.
And let the bear attack someone else while you’re one small step ahead.
Don’t wait for the “perfect” day, “perfect” body, or “perfect” schedule full of free time to come.
It never will.
Do something now. Take a 5-minute action doing whatever you can do, immediately, to stay on track.
Do that, and you’re already 1% better.
Keep it real
Start wherever you are.
Use whatever you have.
Do whatever you can.