When “Good Enough” Is Good Enough

emotional health habits physical health Jun 14, 2016

I have a confession. I want the perfect body. According to Google, there are 106,000,000 options for creating one. So, what works?

Implied in this apparent universal desire is that there is such a thing – a body free of imperfections in every way. No moles, zits, bad breath, lumps, bumps, or bulges. No hormones wreaking havoc or age creating creases and crevices (unless it’s the ab defining kind).

The picture you paint in your head, however, is likely different from mine, proving that no one-size-fits-all image exists.

So, what if I told you the secret to having the perfect body is not striving for perfect?

What if it was simply to have a “good enough” body?

For me, initially this concept created a bit of tension. You see, I’ve always had a desire for excellence. It’s one of my core values… to pursue excellence in all things, in all ways.

But then I realized these two concepts, “good enough” and “excellence,” actually play nicely together.

How?

Good enough doesn’t mean compromising quality. It means doing your best, in the moment, every day. It means committing, but doing what you can – in real life.

Real life doesn’t always allow us to eat perfectly, exercise perfectly, or relate perfectly. Does this mean we’re less excellent? I’d argue no.

In fact, by letting go of our pursuit of perfect, we actually allow for greater excellence and better balance in more areas of our life. Consider this. If we spend all our time pursuing the perfect body, do we compromise time with people we love? If we demand perfect nutrition of ourselves at all times, do we allow for the pleasure of an amazing dessert or gourmet meal prepared by someone else who’s personal excellence and glorification of God comes through their gift of cooking?

In short, the pursuit of perfect leads to failure. Every time.

Sure, we may see short-term gains or success. We may have a perfect eating day or a perfect workout. We may have a perfect conversation in a difficult situation or a perfect date. But these unyielding expectations lead us to disappointment and discouragement in the long-term.

Good enough, on the other hand, is sustainable. For life. For good. For real.

And it releases all the pressure and stress of failing.

Here’s what good enough looks like:

  1. Do one thing a little better. Just one. Pick something to improve that is within your control. This could be adding a vegetable to your day. Or a glass or water. Or an extra 30 minutes of sleep (no… not by snoozing, but by going to bed earlier!). Add rather than subtract something for sustainable change.
  2. Set realistic expectations. I hate to break it to you, but it takes longer than 21 days to create a new habit. Hard ones, like nutrition and exercise, can take a year… or more. The good news is habit building is progressive. Just because you can’t conquer your weight loss goals in a day doesn’t mean you can’t make positive changes today. Commit for the long-term.
  3. Rinse and repeat. Prepare to practice what you want to achieve. Do it over and over again. The more you repeat a behavior, habit, or method you want to become second-nature, the more second-nature it will become. We become what we repeatedly do. So hit the replay button!

 

Good enough is good enough.

In fact, it’s perfect.

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