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consistency leads to success, not perfection

September 16, 2022

The ambition to strive for perfection is perfectly natural and understandable, but it may not have the desired result. Ironically, holding out for perfection can set you up for failure through setting unreachable expectations for yourself, as well as discrediting your genuine accomplishments. Instead of perfection, aim for consistency to ensure that you make constant progress towards your goals.

Failure is to be welcomed, not feared

No matter what goal you’re striving for, showing up to work towards it is the absolute first step towards accomplishing it. At the same time, you want to take pride in what you do and put in your best effort. The key is to look at both success and failure as two roads to the same end — when you succeed, examine what went well, and when you miss a day, try to determine what led to it.  Over time, you will learn and gradually improve your progress. Sometimes, one failure can teach more than a hundred successes, and aiming for utter perfection robs you of those learning experiences.

How to measure and improve consistency

Although every situation is different, there are several methods you can use to determine what level of consistency you are at, and how to improve it.

  • Keep a daily log of your attempts to help visualize how consistent you are not only in the recent past, but over prior months and years. This can help you identify trends and make adjustments.
  • Set goals that are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, don’t say, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be more fit” but rather “I want to go to the gym at least three times a week over the next three months.”
  • Give yourself credit and put yourself in the right frame of mind. Don’t dwell on “I failed once this week”, but rather, “I succeeded six times this week.”

Use the simple rule of thumb that if you are doing something more often than not, you are most assuredly heading in the right direction and should keep it up!


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