This is a summary of some good advice in the book ‘I Thought it Was Just Me’ by Brene Brown:
Set goals for growth, not perfection. No one achieves perfection. Goals based on achieving perfection quickly succumb to despair (I’ll NEVER be able to get there! Forget it!) and are dropped.
Don’t set goals like these which are too vague or unrealistic:
- ‘I will be thin by December.’
- ‘I will never eat anything unhealthy again!’
- ‘I’m going to work out every single day.’
Instead, make small goals for growth and change that you can implement day by day. And, most importantly, give yourself permission to be imperfect:
- ‘I will replace processed snacks with fruit this week.’
- ‘I will drink a gallon of water each day this week.’
- ‘I will go for a walk three times this week during lunch and play with my kids at the park on Saturday.’
- ‘I will set an alarm for time to go to bed, rather than just time to wake up, so I get enough sleep.’
Growth and goal-setting are more work than dreaming of perfection. When we try to be perfect, we fail so often that we get used to it. After a while, we trick ourselves into believing that forecasting perfection is nobler than working toward goals. But working toward achievable, short-term goals is the only way to truly grow and change.
People who achieve great success generally don’t do it in one giant leap, but with a series of small steps (and setbacks!) which build on each other over time.