habits · mindfulness · motivation · self care

Go Team! January 4: Consistency Beats Perfection

This is one of those lessons that I have to learn over and over…which, if you are being optimistic, is a kind of consistency, right?

I have spent way too much time trying to get things right immediately.

I wanted to choose the perfect meditation. The ideal workout. The most effective writing routine.

You get the idea.

I didn’t want to waste time. I wanted good (guaranteed) results. I wanted to know I was on the right track.

You know how this story ends.

I would pick my perfect meditation/ideal workout/effective routine and do it for a few days. Then life would get in the way and I didn’t have time for the whole meditation. Or I would have a bit of muscle pain and not be able to do the full workout. Or I would have to write something other than the project I had carefully planned.

I would not able to follow my perfect plan.

So, logically, I would do nothing.

After all, if it wasn’t going to be perfect, what was the point?

I’d just be wasting my time and effort, wouldn’t I?

When I type it all out like that, it seems ridiculous. How did I ever trick myself into believing that? I know better!

The thing is, I was never consciously walking through that process. Those thoughts were seeping in around the edges of my brain, just enough to steer me away from working out/meditating/writing.

I only clued in when I started paying closer attention to that whole train of thought and stopped it in its tracks.

I’m not perfect. I have no idea what the perfect workout/meditation/writing session will be for me on any given day.

BUT I do know that change comes from consistent efforts. Even small efforts bring change over time.

An occasional perfect session is good in the moment but doesn’t help me much overall.

A string of imperfect sessions, though? Those will make a huge difference.

Trying for perfect sessions is discouraging. And if you happen to miss one, it will be that much harder to get back to them.

But if you are aiming for relatively consistent imperfect sessions, you have all sorts of wiggle room for scaling your session to meet your capacity on a given day. And you can restart over and over, imperfectly.

I went through several iterations of the title for this post because I say things like that to myself all the time. “Done beats perfect.” “Consistent beats perfect.” “Imperfect is stronger than perfect.” and I settled on “Consistency beats perfection” because it sounded best in the moment.

Whichever version you like best, I hope you can embody the idea as you work on your habits today.

And here’s today’s gold star to celebrate our imperfect efforts towards the habits we are trying to build.

Be kind to yourselves out there, Team.

A glass ornament shaped like a gold-star is resting on a wooden table top.
A glass ornament shaped like a gold-star is resting on a wooden table top. The surface of the ornament is crackled to give a weathered effect.

For the second year in a row, I’ll be posting a Go Team! message every day in January to encourage us as we build new habits or maintain existing ones. It’s cumbersome to try to include every possibility in every sentence so please assume that I am offering you kindness, understanding, and encouragement for your efforts right now. You matter, your needs matter, and your efforts count, no matter where you are applying them. You are doing the best you can, with the resources you have, in all kinds of difficult situations and I wish you ease. ⭐💚 PS – Some of the posts for this year may be similar to posts from last year but I think we can roll with it.

2 thoughts on “Go Team! January 4: Consistency Beats Perfection

  1. I try to remember that what I really want to learn with a new habit is how to fall off the wagon and then get back on because that is the skill that will serve best in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

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