When we start to work on improvements in our lives, there will always be this feeling like we are falling short. I don’t think it is talked about enough- the value of working to consistently do better rather than be perfect.
What happens is, we identify things in ourselves that we would like to improve and work on. Maybe we want to work out more. Maybe we want to be more patient with people. Maybe we are working to cut out a bad habit.
So, we decide, as we are getting into bed to go to sleep, that tomorrow is going to be better. “I’m going to wake up, have a workout. I’m not going to lose my cool. I’m not going to eat loads of junk food throughout the day. It’s going to be great.”
Alarm clock goes off, you wake up, have some water, everything is looking up. You even get your work out in. Then something annoying and unexpected happens at work. Then you realize you forgot your turkey wrap at home. Then you are stressed so you get an attitude with someone who didn’t deserve it.
So you’re walking around like, welp, I tried. The intentions were there. Guess I’ll get Burger King for lunch and bite my nails and hand in my 2-week notice. As human beings, we spiral. When we set out with good intentions and things go to crap, we have a hard time compartmentalizing what happened and moving on.
That’s because we are aiming for perfection and not consistency.
Instead of thinking about the things that did go well and right, we quickly focus on the moments that were outside of our control or didn’t go to plan.
You become what you consistently do, not what you do perfectly every time.
This is a fact that’s not up for debate.
So, why do we get all frazzled when we have to pivot?
The other day, I was on fire for life. I decided I was going to prioritize self care and focus on patience with others. I was killing the game. I drank my lemon water, worked out, got all of my tasks done, and I decorated the house for my husband’s birthday. I blew up balloons and baked a cake and put up decorations, and I was SO excited for him to come home and see it. It’s five minutes before he is supposed to be home. I’m closing up some work tasks and all my kids are playing ball in the playroom. They’re not allowed to play soccer in there, but I just needed THIRTY seconds, so I let it go. I’m walking out of my office when I hear screaming. Two kids repeatedly apologizing. There’s blood. Broken glasses. and I’m… not being patient. Which is when Jack walked in the door.
I was so frustrated. I wanted everything to be perfect! I planned well. My intentions were there! I took the time to go above and beyond on my end.
That’s just not how life works sometimes- and that’s the cold, hard truth.
Sometimes we do everything right and annoying crap still happens.
That’s because we are all human and imperfect and relying heavily on other human, imperfect people.
So, that’s why consistency is the mark and not perfection.
When you’re consistent, that becomes the norm. So, when things don’t go perfectly as you plan, we have to learn to pivot and make the best out of what we’ve been dealt.
The truth is, Jack saw the decorations, and he still knew I had made all that effort, and after we cleaned up the blood and got the glasses fixed, he still had a happy birthday.
Life is messy, but when we keep showing up and trying to do our best, it comes together, little by little.
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