“Progress not perfection” is a phrase my husband uses on a regular basis, and now so do I.  To me this is a positive way to keep yourself (or others) on track to accomplish your goals.  So many times we tend to judge, criticize or even scold ourselves for not meeting our goals 100% and this just perpetuates the negative spiral to failure.  However, “progress not perfection” does the opposite.  It highlights that we have made some positive changes or steps to meet our goals, so keep at it!  It’s important to acknowledge our accomplishments as it helps us stay on track. 

January is THE time of year we set goals---and break them.  So this is a little pep talk for you (and me) to keep at it!  Here are 3 steps to get back on track:

STEP 1:  Progress Not Perfection

Repeat after me: “progress not perfection.”  Now, take inventory of the progress you have made towards your goals, even the small steps.  Acknowledge your good work. 

I’ll share one of my goals to illustrate.  I want to eat healthier.  While I haven’t stayed committed to this plan 100%, I have made the following progress in January: 

I drink 12 cups of water each day;

I have fruits or vegetables with every meal;

I have reduced my dairy intake by 50%;

I only have dessert twice a week (versus every night during the holidays); and

I have reduced my wine intake by about 20%.

Wow!  I’m doing better than I thought! Good work! 

STEP 2:  Remember the Why

Remember why you set this goal to begin with.  Why was it important to you? Tap into that passion that drove you to want to make a change in your life.  That’s your motivation.

For me, the main reason I set this goal was because I want to feel good inside and out.  Some foods make me feel sluggish and bloated.  I want to feel energized and healthy!  I have so many exciting things I want to do with my life, but a lot of the time I feel I have low energy.  Plus it would be really nice to lose a few pounds in the process! 

STEP 3:  Outline Next Steps

Now consider what changes you may need to make to your daily routine in order to help you get back on track.  Also, think of ways to make it fun so that you actually enjoy doing what it takes to reach your goals.  There are a lot of opinions and ideas of how to accomplish your goals.  But I truly feel you need to personalize a program for you.  We are all unique individuals who are motivated by different methods.  Find what works for you.  Sometimes that takes trying a few ways, if they don’t work try another and so on until you find what works for you. 

My goal is to continue to reduce my intake of dairy, wine and desserts.  Here are a few changes I’m planning to make to accomplish that:

Use “friend power” instead of will power -  According to Dr. Mark Hyman, the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and author of ten #1 NY Times bestselling books,friend power is so much more powerful than willpower.”  Using your social network is an extremely effective way to change behavior.  My husband will be my friend power!  We are already committed to help each other live better lives, so why not apply that to our goals? 

Trade a bad habit with a good one – At 5:00 each afternoon my thoughts go straight to having a glass of wine.  At least a couple times a week I’m going to trade in that glass of wine for a yoga class.  Mixing up my routine will help me change my behavior for more positive practices.

Hopefully there a few ideas here that will inspire you to get back on track with your goals for 2017!

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