If you’re anything like me, you ‘re constantly battling thoughts that tell you “if it’s not perfect, then it’s not worth it.” As someone with perfectionist-type tendencies, I must make an active effort to translate preconceived superhuman ideals into sustainable (and realistic) goals.
I owe a lot to my perfectionism. It gives me the motivation to pursue my career, which further enables me to empower and educate others about the benefits of building a sustainable lifestyle. My perfectionism also drives my work ethic as it fuels my creativity when working with my clients.
If not brought down a notch, however, perfectionism can foreshadow burnout and from personal experience, I’ve learned that choosing this tunneled road more often than not leads to short-term results. I’ve learned that despite wanting to pursue more, it’s critical to be patient and realistic.
Motivation is an important predictor of success, but success is only attainable when one’s motivation fuels practical habits. Remember, life happens. Allowing time for life’s unpredictable circumstances is important. The major difference between my past and my present is that nowadays… I accept enough. I accept the reality that perfection doesn’t exist. I accept the fact that progress is in itself the ultimate goal.
Are you ready to start building sustainable habits? Here are 3 tips to tackle your all-or-nothing mindset:
#1: Focus on the journey
Our culture spends A LOT of time and money promising quick-fix solutions. With such a strong focus on the end-goal, we often forget about the path that gets us there. Choose a path that allows for sustainable changes. This is essential to your long term progress. Pick 2 or 3 small goals to accomplish over the next month. These can be simple steps such as eating 3 balanced meals daily or adding complex carbs into your current meals.
#2: Get comfortable with the reality
In regards to food, striving for a “perfect” diet leads you down a VERY unsustainable path. The reality is that humans are curious creatures. We’ll always desire what we think we “can’t” have. Incorporating your favorite foods, whether they nutrient-dense, “whole,” or none of the above is the goal.
#3: Challenge yourself with discomfort
I always look to meet my clients where they’re at in regards to building steps towards behavioral change. In doing so, we construct challenges that help to dismantle fears, specifically food fears. Try this: choose one or two foods that you’ve restricted in the past. Perhaps it’s a food that you swear to “never keep in the house” out of fear that once you start, you’ll “never stop.” Adding this food, as opposed to restricting this food, is the first step to breaking food rules and building trust with yourself. Enjoying this food, even if it’s a more tempting option, as part of a mindful experience is your homework.