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The number of times I’ve started a workout or sat down to write a blog post when really my gut feeling was:
“Yeah, I really don’t feel like this quite so much right now!”
Or perhaps, as was the case today, it’s the scenario where really you have less time than you’d love to make something happen. That was my workout today. I had 20 minutes less time AND also last night I’d enjoyed one Shiraz more than ideal to make my Monday workout happen. It wasn’t going to be The Perfect workout.
However to be brutally honest: about 80% of my workouts aren’t perfect… Yes, they are hard, focused and even fun however there’s generally a few things I know I could have done better.
Perhaps those last couple of sprints when I could have put the treadmill speed or incline up a little more and choose not to.
Or the final set of hamstring curls with sliders that I did double leg instead of single leg.
Fellow perfectionists, information gatherers and procrastinators today I’m sharing why you need to:
Take Imperfect Action.
I know I’ve shared this before however clinging on to any sort of justification as to why today isn’t The Right or The Best time to take action is just a result-ruining-confidence-crushing-EXCUSE.
If only it was that easy though right?
Whether we’re talking eating actions, exercising actions or anything actions I have 3 steps to help you:
Take Imperfect Action.
One: Stack Conditions For Your Success.
This is the groundwork you lay in advance to any desired action taking. The guidelines you set for yourself. The previous obstacles you out-plan. The friction you remove. The incentives you put in place. Perhaps:
=> That non-negotiable training plan… that tells you today is back and chest day regardless of how much else there to get done and irrespective of those delightful Sunday beverages you (ok I!) over-consumed yesterday!
=> The tempting trigger foods you’ve evicted from home and work… and perhaps the delicious yet nutritious snacks you have on hand instead.
=> The daily plan of most high value work tasks numbered by order of priority… and with a time allotted to each that you planned the night before. If you’re anything like me you’ll be tempted to stare at that little plan until you set a timer for that #one task and power into it.
Two: Lower The Bar.
This is the expectation you set for yourself before you attempt any action taking. Do you have a habit of setting the bar so high you’re not even going to try? I do this constantly with my habits that don’t stick. I’ll set an ideal-best-case-scenario target and then last a few days before I declare the habit too much effort for the results I’m yet to experience! Some lower the bar possibilities might be:
=> Aim to walk 10 minutes a day rather 60. Although 10 minutes a day isn’t perfect, it is an action that you can build on. You’ll get into a routine that you can constantly improve and you’ll gain confidence in your ability to stick with it rather than feel disappointed in yourself every time you skip that longer walk.
=> Start by adding ONE green veg to your meals. I’d love to see you eating a huge variety of green veg at breakfast, lunch and dinner however if that sounds utterly unappealing then choose your fav green veg and priorities adding it to breakfast, lunch or dinner.
=> Your know the daily plan I mentioned in step one? Perhaps you need to cut it in half! I used to have 6-10 goals a day and a set time at which I had to start each. And then life would happen… I would get to start the #one goal at the set time and it’d be downhill from there. I was constantly setting myself up to fail. It’s actually taken me years to find the system that works for me. Your system will be unique to you however the takeaway is, if you’re continually not taking action on the tasks that are most important then it’s time to lower that bar and give yourself a fair chance!
Three: Flip the Highlight Reel.
This is the lens you’re choosing to view your action taking through. The natural – yet potentially debilitating – tendency is to focus on your previous struggles, imperfections and FLAWS. While generously filtering in only the highlight reel – the very best / most perfect bits of everyone else’s action taking. Here are some ways to flip the highlight reel:
=> Each time you find yourself drawn to focus on a flaw in your approach REFRAME what you’re making it mean. I’ve devoted a couple of shows to reframes already and I’ll link to them in the show notes.
=> Finish each day by focusing on at least one thing you did well. It can be as simple as the biscuits on special you didn’t buy at the supermarket or perhaps the awesome green smoothie you started the day with.
=> Start a conversation with that person who perhaps you’ve been putting on a pedestal. Ask them about how they started off and if it’s always been easy. You’ll likely find that although each of us likes to put our best foot forward, the reality is often just as scrappy, frustrating and disappointing as whatever you’re struggling with right now.
The difference between the person who stays stuck on struggle-street and the person who gets to break free comes down to: Just how much imperfect action are YOU willing to take?
Are you willing to take some time in advance to: Stack Conditions For Your Success?
Are you willing to reel in your ego and: Lower The Bar?
Are you committed to: Flip the Highlight Reel?
To get actionable: I’d love you to choose ONE of these steps and use it to help you take imperfect action today.
I’ll finish todays show with a quote from Tony Robbins: “Winners take imperfect action while losers are still perfecting the plan.”
That’s it for me today. I hope you can join me for the Wednesday weigh-in show where we’ll cover: The Balance Myth.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Self Sabotage: 5 Things To Stop Doing Today.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.