I believe that one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to the pursuit of fitness, whether you have the goal of losing weight or achieving a better physique, is this all-encompassing idea that we have to be perfect. Ideas such as needing to eat a certain way all the time, that we must work out all the time, and can never let loose are examples of a devastating mindset that ultimately destroys our ability to achieve and maintain our fitness goals.
Perfection isn’t necessary for the pursuit of fitness. It truly has no place. Sure, you might have the mindset, or genetic makeup where following a strict plan is more ideal than giving yourself some slack. But I’ve rarely met people who have been able to maintain this type of perfection. Life throws us curveballs and setbacks will occur such as injuries, stress, family responsibilities and medical issues. And if we are unable to gain a general sense of balance and find ourselves getting so caught up in the idea that perfection is the only route than I believe we will never achieve the goals we set for any significant amount of time. Dusting yourself off versus never falling is a far healthier mindset to have.
If you struggle with this concept of perfectionism, you are far from alone! Here are a few tips you can start implementing to help you realize that perfection isn’t necessary for your pursuit of better fitness.
- Consistency doesn’t mean hourly or even daily: I love the idea of having “more wins than losses.” While I don’t want to give you the excuse to eat poorly or skip your workout, you’ll find far more success if you strive for consistency rather than absolutes. Work on going to the gym more days than not in the week, not every single day. And try eating as many healthy meals a day versus less healthy ones.
- Have fun: If you aren’t having fun and finding yourself struggling to muster up enough energy to work out or follow a specific diet plan then it’s a good sign that you need to have some more fun. Loosen up the reigns a bit and I can guarantee you’ll see more long-term success and fewer motivation problems throughout the week.
- Reflect: Sometimes we get so caught up in achieving a fitness goal that we forget about how far we’ve come. Spend some time reflecting on all of the things you’ve learned about health and fitness. Think about the battles you’ve won, the times you’ve decided to eat healthily and the physical improvements you have made over the years. Purposely focus on the “wins” in your life and draw strength from recognizing what you are truly capable of.