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Life Performance Blog: You Don't Have To Be Perfect To Be Healthy

Stop being "perfect" and be "good enough" instead.

Outdoor survival tip!

When you’re running from a bear, you don't have to run the fastest. All you have to do is run a little bit faster than the slowest person. In other words, when you're improving your habits and choices, you never have to be "perfect".

You just have to be a little bit better, consistently.

The 0% Game

Try a game.

Do you know those parents who focus on how much less than 100% their kids got? As in, "If you get 90% on your math test, what happened to the other 10%?"

They start from 100% (i.e. perfect) and work backwards. So everything is always less than 100%.

Let's try an Opposite Day:

1. Start from 0%. 2. Then add. For instance, let's imagine:

• What is 0% fitness? Well, maybe lying in a full-body cast in a hospital bed on a ventilator for a year.

• What is 0% nutrition? Hmm. Maybe eating stuff that isn't even food. Like old newspapers, Vaseline, or cotton balls. Or rat poison.

• What is 0% health? Dead.

So how could you apply this to your coaching experience?

• If 0% fitness is the body cast... what's your current fitness level?

• If 0% exercise is lying in bed immobilised... how much better are your exercise habits?

• If 0% nutrition is eating bits of string, dust bunnies, or antifreeze... how much better are your nutrition habits?

• If 0% health is dead, then even if you've got a raging stomach flu today, you've gotta be at least 50% healthy.

Now keep playing the game.

1. Start from 0%.

2. See how much better than 0% you are right now.

3. Think about what would make you just 1% better today. (Or 0.5%.) What would move you just a little bit forward today?

What could make you just a little bit better today?

See how much better things look when you start from the worst-case scenario?

Progress, not perfection

Consider two options.

Option 1: Making yourself crazy for a week chasing a "100%" performance, then burning out and giving up.

Option 2: Trying to be 1% better every day for a full year. Let's do the math. 7 days x 100% effort + 358 days x 0% effort = no change, or backsliding. You end up feeling like a failure. 365 days x 1% better every day = significant transformation. You end up feeling like a superstar.

Focus on "making a little progress" each day rather than being "perfect".

Start from 0% and add. Notice your small accomplishments.

Let yourself be "good enough for now". Take the pressure off. Be patient. Keep showing up. Keep trying.

And let the bear bite someone else in the butt.

Start NOW. Don’t wait for the “perfect” day, “perfect” body, or “perfect” schedule full of free time to come. It never will. Do something NOW.

Take the next 5 minutes to do whatever you can do immediately to stay on track.

Do that, and you're already 1% better. Congrats.

Keep it real

Remember our mantra: “Start wherever you are”, “Use whatever you have,” and “Do whatever you can”

What to do today

1. Outrun the bear. Remember: you don’t need to run the fastest; you just need to run fast enough.

2. Shoot for "pretty good" or "a little bit better" instead of "perfect". Trust us. This works much better. Isn't that a relief?

In fact, you're probably already doing "a little bit better".

3. Make time: Claim the next 5 minutes as yours. Stop "wondering and worrying". Start doing. Use the next 5 minutes to take action on something.

To learn more about improving your health and what I provide as a health coach, feel free to email me any questions via Happy to help in any way I can.

Chris, myHealthCoach

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