Let Go of Perfection and Just Do It

IMG_4648I heard this line earlier today and thought, “Yes, that’s exactly what it’s all about.”  In so many senses . . whether it’s self-care, cooking, exercise, meditation.  In our busy lives, it’s hard to find the perfect moment and circumstances . . . and it’s also hard (as in, impossible) to be perfect at everything!  So just let go of that notion.  I teach this with nutrition . . the 90-10 rule.  Eat well, stay on track, 90% of the time, and give yourself some freedom and indulgence 10% of the time.  Without the guilt (that’s the key)!  But let’s look at this with exercise as well.  This photo is of me getting my sweat on in a power half-hour, with her running around all over around me and “helping” me with my exercises . . . but I got it done!  What I’ve seen with clients is that they can’t find the right gym, the right exercise that interests them, or the right yoga schedule that fits their availability.  Or they can’t seem to coordinate with their partner to watch the kids while they workout, complain of not having enough space in their house to work out, and on and on.  These are certainly concerns to work around and/or deal with head-on (such as the coordinating with your spouse!), but they’re simply that, concerns to work around.  It’s very nice to find those perfect circumstances for a workout and it feels so good when you do.  But I’ll tell you from experience, it almost feels BETTER when you fit in a good workout at a “non-ideal” time or place.  It’s this ultimate feeling of accomplishment because you weren’t even sure how it was going to happen!  I believe in the importance of scheduling your workout, and self-care in general, into your calendar and making it a priority.  But the fact is, in our busy days things creep in on us and the days don’t always pan out exactly as expected.  I know this is definitely true as a parent!  The more people you’re working around and taking care of, the more your “aloted self-time” can quickly disappear!  We can’t always fit in that drive to and from the gym, so we decide to scrap the workout all together.  Or we sleep late figuring we really need the sleep instead (which may be true, don’t get me wrong), so don’t consider fitting in a quick walk later in the day.  Or we can’t afford the yoga studio or private instructor, so we take a break, usually feeling guilty about it, and figure we’ll pick it back up when we can.  Be committed to your self-care, exercise being one of the priorities, let go of perfection and just do it!  If you know me, you know I’ve lived in some VERY small spaces, so I can attest that you literally need very little space for a workout.   You may have to CHOOSE the type of workout, but it can be done . . . wall sits, planks and jumping jacks fit about anywhere!  If it’s hard to get to the gym, or even out for a walk or run during day-light hours, consider waking up a bit earlier and fitting in a home workout.  You may not always look perfect designing your own yoga flow from what you remember from classes, but who cares!  Do your best, keep moving and breathing and just do it!  And don’t think that you either need a full hour or it’s not worth it.  Fit in 10, 20 or 30 minutes . . that’s totally fine!  I actually may do a couple of 10 minute workouts at different times in the day if I can’t fit in anything longer at one time.  If it’s motivation you lack, find a fun workout video or make a playlist of your favorite songs and not long into it you’ll be feeling inspired.  I teach fitness but still have a number of fitness videos that I know I can just pop into my computer, not have to plan a workout and just be told what to do! On those days I’m lacking some motivation, I think about how I will feel AFTER the workout, and how that “high” I’ll feel after will carry on into the rest of my day.  I also consider the opposite, how I’ll feel if I don’t do a workout and how it will carry on into my day . . . right there is amazing motivation.  The circumstances aren’t always going to be perfect and you’re not always going to be perfect, but at the end of the day you’ll be proud of yourself for taking some time for yourself, for self-care.  Sometimes it’s honestly about fitting it into the “nooks and crannies of life”, as I refer it to because some days that’s what it feels like, but we do our best.  And when we know we’re doing our best, we feel better about ourselves, our health is stronger, we react better to stress, we cultivate stronger relationships . . . and we thrive.  Now that’s totally worth not being perfect about it!

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