Why you should being aiming for progress, not perfection
It is often said: if you strive for perfection you will ultimately set yourself up to fail. After all, who’s really perfect anyway? In your journey of self-improvement, what’s important is progress: small steps, significant changes and moving closer towards achieving your goals.
If you focus each day on making one small change to your routine, you will start seeing the benefits. If you try to change too many things all at once, it can become overwhelming, and you are more likely to give up.
Here are 5 steps to try implementing into your daily routine to help you become a better you.
Step 1: Set a positive intention for the week
Own it, repeat it, write it down, print it out, stick it up at work and at home; do whatever you need to do to focus on this intention and make it happen. Truly believe in this intention and the power you have to live it out everyday.
This week I will:
- Put aside 30 minutes a day for me
- Try something new
- Feel gratitude for something or someone
Step 2: Move more
Go outside, walk, run, breathe fresh air, get in touch with nature. It’s so important that your body moves on a daily basis.
Find a park nearby to work and take a walk in your lunch hour. Grab a few colleagues and make it a regular break for you all. You will be much more proactive after a break from your computer and some movement. If not, join a gym close to work or home so you can go before or after work, or squeeze in a quick lunch time session. You will feel less tired and much more motivated at work and at home.
Try something new: Pilates, Yoga, Barre, Dancing, Swimming, running or weights. Find something you enjoy and it will be much easier to do it regularly.
Step 3: Get organised and plan your meals
Plan your breakfast and lunch for the week – Keep it simple and easy. If you do this, you will eat healthier and not be in the trap of going to food courts or making unhealthy food choices during the day.
Try not to have too much sugar in the morning. Opt for a savory breakfast option, to help lower your sugar intake. Avoid cereals that are loaded with sugar. Stick to drinking water rather than fruit juices. Be mindful that sometimes, even perceived ‘healthy’ options also contain hidden sugars.
For lunch, be prepared! The warmer weather is perfect for salad lunches with some protein; tuna, salmon or chicken being good sources, filling you with energy and brainpower for the rest of the day. Grate your own carrot, beetroot or cabbage; add these to salad greens with seeds and simple dressings like olive oil/apple cider vinegar, for a delicious and nutritious boost to your meal! Avoid heavy, fried, carb-loaded lunches, as these will make you sluggish and tired.
Dinner is such an important time for family and relationships. When you can, try to eat together at the table and put away mobile phones so you can talk to each other. Choose healthy options with lean proteins, fresh veggies and compliment with brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa or potatoes.
Step 4: Reduce chemicals in your food and body products
We are so overloaded with chemicals in our systems through what we eat, wash ourselves with and clean the house with.
- Try to buy earth friendly products for the home. There are some inexpensive options available in supermarkets.
- Go to a farmers market and get organic fruit and veg that have not been sprayed with harmful fertilisers and pesticides. Shopping at farmers markets are cheaper than at the supermarkets, and the produce is so much fresher.
- Look for sulfate and paraben-free options when buying creams, body washes and shampoos --- manufacturers are now making chemical-free products for a reason. These chemicals are harmful and disrupt our hormones as well as causing a build up of toxins in our skin. You can now find these products in supermarkets at more affordable prices.
Step 5: Keep a journal and create a vision board
Writing in a journal can take as little as 5 minutes to start off your morning, and a great practice to help you reflect on your day and unwind before you go to bed. You may opt to write an entry only few times a week instead of updating it daily if you feel that having enough time is an issue --- do whatever works for you.
Begin each day in a positive way; check in with yourself, express gratitude, write down what you are grateful for and what your intentions are for the day. Set goals, action steps and make time for relaxation, fun and adventure.
End each day reflecting on how your day went, what worked and what did not. How did you feel? How was your mood and energy levels throughout the day?
Remember to be kind to yourself and appreciate your efforts. Focus on a loving thought before bed and enjoy happy dreams.
- Vision board
What do you want? What does it look like? How would it feel to have it? Close your eyes and imagine yourself doing it/feeling it. Visualize how it looks, take that emotion and hold on to it. Remind yourself of it to keep you focused on your vision. Cut up some magazines, find inspirational content on the Internet and from your surroundings and use that inspiration to create a board to document things you want to achieve, treats you want to reward yourself with, and goals you want to smash.
Camilla Thompson is Head Lifestyle Coach at The Lifestylers Co. With a focus on health and lifestyle consulting, Camilla’s passion is helping people and organisations find balance and happiness through nutrition, movement and mindset.
Camilla also writes for her own blog, The Wellness Coach and has an extensive corporate background in digital media advertising. Her inspiration to assist other busy individuals and families comes from juggling her own full time career, raising two growing boys, (plus one growing husband) and studying for the last six years, all the while staying committed to leading a fit and healthy lifestyle. She knows first hand that the strategies, and even her delicious recipes, have to be practical and easy to implement in order to work in creating long term solutions for her clients. You can find Camilla’s blogs and recipes on her website: www.thewellnesscoach.org.
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