I think it's finally time that I came to grips with who I am and reveal it to the world: I am a perfectionist.
I credit this recent discovery to this awesome book that I've been reading, "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. Here is a link here:
In it, Brown discusses perfectionism as a "vulnerability armory." In other words, by being perfect we avoid pain, shame and blame. She identifies a "shame resilience" technique that many other recovering perfectionists use. That technique is called, "Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good."
In this post-resolution February, as we all start to find less time to stick to our resolutions, I find that this is a "perfect" time to discuss this topic. Whatever it is you resolved to do, you likely haven't done it perfectly. And I say this with the utmost love because if you were perfect, you wouldn't be human.
If you're looking to make some healthy changes to your lifestyle, here are some good ways to shift your thinking:
1. Some vegetables are better than zero.
You might think to yourself, "Caesar salad is fatty so I'm not going to order it." If instead, you just get cheese pizza, you're being ridiculous. I know, I know: technically, the government views pizza as a vegetable and you might be getting one serving of fruit in that slice of cheese you just got, but your colon will thank you a lot more for the caesar salad. And if you're anything like me...
2. Some exercise is better than none.
I've gone through some intense exercise phases. When I was a swimmer, not going to swim practice was, according to my militant swim coaches, basically like a runner staying in bed all day. But, if a healthy lifestyle is your goal, getting outside and going for a walk is better than promising yourself all day that you'll go to Crossfit to burn 1000 calories and never going.
3. One mistake doesn't make you a failure. Even Peyton Manning can make a mistake on the field. (TOPICAL!)
Maybe you promised yourself that you'd give up sugar finally this year and you recently ate a cookie (or 2 or 10 or 100). One mistake does not make or break you. Health is on a continuum. It's not black or white. If you're making healthy decisions 99% of the time, the 1% of the time that you're not making the best decision doesn't undo the 99% of the time that you've done well. So just enjoy the cookie.
So there you have it. Don't let perfection drive your lifestyle and don't let it stop you from ordering a salad with your burger, talking a walk instead of watching TV, or quitting healthy habits just because you ate a cookie that you weren't planning on eating.