Perfection or Progress?
I constantly strive to be my best self. Not to be perfect, or someone else’s version of perfect- but my best. And, not perfect. Because perfect doesn’t exist. I’m pretty sure that I am the only person who dislikes the phrase “practice makes perfect.” Instead, I like to think, “practice makes progress.”
I was talking to a friend the other day about this, and he was arguing that you could be perfect. He claimed that he had seen it on T.V. when an Olympic gymnast would receive a perfect score on their floor or bar routine. However, this isn’t perfect. I am sure that any gymnast or athlete who has received a “perfect score” thinks in the back of their mind that they could have done better, or felt relief when the judges didn’t catch their mistake. Because the truth of the matter is, we aren’t perfect even if the judges think we are.
Being perfect would not even be a good thing! I could not imagine the pressure that I would put on myself if I was perfect. I would be nervous and constantly anxious; I would be thinking about what would happen if I messed up, or stopped being perfect.
In January, I really focused on being my best self and practicing some self-love. I didn’t focus on being perfect but tried to make progress in areas in my life that I felt needed improvement.
Saying No…and Yes
No, and yes? Yes! I tend to say “no” to people and “yes” when I should be doing the opposite. This month I focused on saying “I’ll think about it” or, “I’ll check my schedule” if I don’t know my answer right away when asked.
I’ve loved doing this! It gives me time to think if I really want to do the activity or commit my time to something. It gives me time to think if I am saying no or yes for the wrong reasons.
Having a Schedule/List
When I have a schedule (and stick to one!) I feel so much better than when I don’t. Maybe it’s the thrill of crossing off another “to do” on the list or the feeling of accomplishment for completing something. Whatever it is, I love lists and having a schedule. The days that I don’t have a few errands or activities planned, I feel like I am wasting a day.
However, I know that I do struggle with trying to do too much. I spoke with a priest over breakfast in college (over six years ago now?!) about this. I told him that I felt like my life was like laundry- whenever I thought I was done, I would realize that there was something else to do as well. I never felt as though I accomplished enough.
He told me that he too struggled with this. I am not sure if it was his advice or religious advice that he gave me, but he told me that five things are enough per day. He told me to just do five things. When I find myself running around crazy on Sunday, trying to get ready for the work week, I try to remind myself this. Just do five things.
Not Sleeping In/Getting Enough Sleep
I’m not really a person who sleeps in. My version of sleeping is waking up at 8:30. However, when I wake up earlier on the weekdays or weekends, I have a better day. I feel less rushed, and more put together. I love waking up, walking Allie and having a cup of coffee.
I’ve been putting some almond milk and coconut oil into my coffee and love it! 🙂 If you put it all in a blender, and mix it up, you get the latte froth on top!
In order to wake up early, I do have to push myself to go to bed earlier. I started going to bed at 10, not 11, and oh my gosh. My life has changed. One extra hour of sleep makes it SO easy to wake up! Even for my 5:50 am alarm during the week! 🙂
Scheduling Down Time
Scheduling downtime is something that I also struggle with. I love the feeling of being busy. I have been reading an hour before bed this month, and I have loved loved loved how much this has helped my stress. I don’t look at my phone while reading, and just focus on the book and drinking my tea! 🙂
Eating Healthy & Working Out
I always eat pretty healthily, but this month, I made an effort to make sure that I always am. I’ve meal prepped every week, and made sure to remember my Omega-3 oils and probiotics in the morning. And by remember, I mean I set an alarm to remind me… haha.
I also have started drinking a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar in the morning. This helps with everything! The reason that it helps your skin, hair and digestion is because it helps with the acidy in your stomach. Even though drinking this is not the most pleasant, I’ve already seen some positive differences in my skin!
Finding a new cycle studio this month has also been such a blessing!!! The studio and instructors are all amazing, and I always leave feeling as on top of the world.
This morning I even squeezed in a class (aka scheduled my week!) before having to tutor! I (thankfully) managed to change and get ready to go in ten minutes after the class, and not be late!
Thinking about Others
It is important to think about yourself, however, it is equally important to think about others. When I struggle to feel empathy towards someone or get frustrated with someone, I’ve been reminding myself that they are going through life as well. They could be juggling what I am, or something completely different. Even though I don’t know what they are dealing with, being kind towards them is the easiest way to help them.
Goals for YOU: 🙂
Try to think of a few things that you can work on in your life for the next month. What is something that you struggle with? Think of something that you can do that will improve your life, or someone else’s! 🙂