The Principle That Will Change Your Life: Imperfect Action

– You do not have to be perfect to see results
– Trying to be perfect all of the time can add unnecessary stress to the process
– If you aren’t able to be perfect, that does not undo the work you have done or mean you’ve failed
– Panicking after you feel like you’ve failed can lead to more damage 
– Doing something imperfectly is better than doing nothing
– Don’t allow things not being perfect to be an excuse for you to not take action

The Principle of Imperfect Action is knowing that you don’t have to be perfect in order to see results.

The Principle of Imperfect Action is knowing that you don’t have to be perfect in order to see results.

Where most people struggle when trying to achieve their health and fitness goals is that they go in with the best intentions and try to be perfect.

They’re given a plan, start really well and then somewhere along the line something slips (this is perfectly normal, because unless you have nothing else to do, life will sometimes get in the way).

Not only that, but you’re only human.

When you first start trying to change your behaviours to make a lifestyle change, everything will take more effort (this all gets easier the more you do it and the further along you get).

What this means is that trying to be perfect will take a lot of energy, so it’s reasonable that at some point you’ll have a day where you don’t have enough energy to be “perfect”.

Now, where this becomes a problem is that when that slip happens, people will feel like they’ve failed.

And because they feel like they’ve failed, they panic because they feel like they won’t see any results.

This then leads to “fuck it” behaviour like binges or “I may as well not bother” thinking.

This actually does more damage than the initial “slip”.

Let me make this clear:

Just because you haven’t been able to adhere perfectly, it does not mean you’ve failed, or undone the progress you have made.

If this sounds like something you’ve struggled with in the past, then please reread that sentence again, and again until it seeps in.

If you have been making an effort in some form, you are still in a much better place than if you hadn’t bothered.

Think of it like driving to a destination:

Being “perfect” is like going 100mph.

Not being able to adhere perfectly is like going at 60-90mph.

You are still heading toward your destination (your goal).

Panicking and thinking “fuck it” is like pulling the car over, getting out and slashing your tyres.

We are not trying to be perfect. We are simply trying to do enough of the things that will keep us moving toward our goal.

Some days we’ll be travelling at 100mph, and some days it will be more like 50mph.

The important thing is that you keep going for long enough that you get to your destination.

(Another way of looking at it is that going at a steady 70mph may take a bit longer, but if it makes the ride a lot more bearable then surely that’s better?)

Take the pressure off of yourself and stop trying to be perfect.

So many of us use the excuse of wanting things to be perfect before we take action, whether that being life circumstances or knowing that our decision will be the perfect one.

But what typically happens is we overthink, freeze up, feel overwhelmed, or simply wait and end up doing nothing, which means we get nowhere.

Doing something imperfectly is always better than doing nothing.

Plus taking action, even when it’s imperfect, is how you learn what works for you and what doesn’t, so it’s a win-win!