Many of us feel that when we do things we have to do them perfectly.
Perfectionism can be a big problem when we start creating positive habits and a healthy living plan. Even though it is unrealistic to assume we can do something new perfectly the first time, we may still get down on ourselves when we make mistakes.
How perfectionism affects making healthy choices?
Our tendencies towards perfectionism can have a major impact on our efforts to make healthy choices. For example, if you start learning to eat instinctively and mindfully you might quickly become discouraged if you are not doing it perfectly and then quit. Or you might be so intimidated by the process, because you expect yourself to do it perfectly, that you never even start in the first place.
What if we could live imperfectly?
Say you have a healthy living plan to eat a well balanced diet, start exercising regularly and stop stress eating.. Now let's say you only followed your plan about half the time. For many of us this would feel like a failure. However, following a healthier living plan half the time is still better than doing it none of the time. Of course it would be better if we could do your plan all of the time.
Thoughts create results.
Thinking ineffective thoughts is a habit, and a habit can be broken with awareness and practice.
Perfectionistic vs. Realistic thoughts.
I was doing pretty well until I got sick (or busy, or company came, or I went on vacation . . .).
To quit your exercise program because you missed a day, a week, or even longer makes as much sense as eating the whole bag of cookies because you ate three. No person and no schedule are ever perfect, but thinking you have to do it perfectly will derail you every time.
I have a flexible, consistent exercise program.
In order for physical activity to become part of your life, try to be as consistent but as flexible as possible. Many people have found that writing their exercise schedules on their calendars helps them stay on track. If they miss a session, they simply reschedule it, the way they would any other important appointment.
If perfectionism is getting in the way of living healthier remember, there is no hall of fame for dieters, there is no special prize or medal we get if we exercise perfectly according to plan. It is really all about doing something for us. It is all about self care.
If having perfect standards is getting in the way, then get rid of the standards and get started doing something.
So let's cut ourselves some slack and start anywhere, even if imperfectly. Remember doing a mediocre plan is still better than doing nothing.
”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
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