Progress, Not Perfection: Get Back on Track Toward Your Health Goals

Now that we are a little more than a month from when we made our New Year’s resolutions toward better health, I wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing with the goals you have set for yourselves. Chances are, you haven’t been perfect. Personally, I have held strong to my three resolutions for the majority of the time, but I have definitely skipped some meditation sessions, and have purchased some genetically modified foods at the store. However, I want to remind everyone that goal setting is more about making progress than being perfect.

Taking small steps in the direction of change helps us to not become completely overwhelmed. Kathy Freston, one of the world’s most prominent health and wellness activists, told John Robbins during an interview entitled “Lean Into the Life You Want,” that when she has pushed herself to rise to an occasion, the Universe meets her half way, and she has felt that she gets assistance. She comments about her own journey: “I am just going to set my intention… I don’t know how I am going to get there, I don’t know what I am going to do but I am just going to nudge myself forward and I am just going to lean into it. That intention is what keeps pushing me through, continues to push me through because I am still not perfect.”

Deciding to be more health conscious is truly a lifestyle change. We are evolving around our food choices, and how we expend our energy. It’s all about leaning forward. This is why in my original post on the New Year’s Resolution Challenge, I advised to create an overall objective before getting specific on how you would get there. I then suggested making smaller goals related to your health through food, body, and mind in order to help fulfill the overall objective. Though you may have thought the smaller goals would be relatively more simple to implement into your life, the truth is that every change takes energy and a commitment. You may have found that you haven’t been able to reach your resolutions every day, week, or month—but that’s OK!

If you have found it hard to cut out a certain something from your diet completely, work on cutting it out of one meal per week, and then two meals per week, etc. If you have found it difficult to add in something to your workout consistently, make it a goal to at least include it once per week, or per month. If you have found it difficult to implement more than one resolution at a time, then focus on one for now, and add another after you master the first. You see where I’m going with this?

My challenge to you going forward is to take small steps toward your goal, and not to give up if you slip. If you make a mistake, let that be in the direction of your intention. Hold the phrase, “progress, not perfection,” in your mind.

Kathy said in the interview, “Once the mind and heart opens, we continue to expand and open. It’s like, here is the doorway and I’m going to walk through the doorway and I am going to do the best I can…. And that is how it happens. It’s a continuum; it is a lifelong continuum of just pushing ourselves ever so gently forward.”

As I mentioned in the New Year’s Resolution Challenge post, it takes about 21 days to develop a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. We have about 4.5 months left until the process of fulfilling these resolutions becomes part of who we are. You can do it!

For more ideas on how to stay accountable for your resolutions, visit the original challenge here.

Embed from Getty Images


Freston, Kelly. (2014.) Interview by John Robbins [recording]. Lean Into the Life You Want. Six Weeks to a Healthy Kitchen course.

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