Progress, not perfection

The 0% Game

Let’s try a game.

You know those parents who focus on how much less than 100% their kids got?

As in, “If you get 90% on your math test, what happened to the other 10%?”

They start from 100% (i.e. perfect) and work backwards. So everything is always less than 100%.

Let’s try an Opposite Day:

  1. Start from 0%.
  2. Then add.

For instance, let’s imagine:

  • What is 0% fitness? Well, maybe lying in a full body cast in a hospital bed on a ventilator for a year.
  • What is 0% nutrition? Hmm. Maybe eating stuff that isn’t even food. Like old newspapers, Vaseline, or cotton balls. Or rat poison.
  • What is 0% health? Dead.

So how could you apply this to your health and wellness experience?

  • If 0% fitness is the body cast… what’s your current fitness level?
  • If 0% exercise is lying in bed immobilised… how much better are your exercise habits?
  • If 0% nutrition is eating bits of string, dust bunnies, or antifreeze… how much better are your nutrition habits?
  • If 0% health is dead, then even if you’ve got raging stomach flu today, you’ve gotta be at least 50% healthy.

See how much better things look when you start from the worst case scenario?

Now keep playing the game.

  1. Start from 0%.
  2. See how much better than 0% you are right now.
  3. Think about what would make you just 1% better today. (Or 0.5%.)

What would move you just a little bit forward today?

What could make you just a little bit better today?

Consider two options.

Option 1: Making yourself crazy for a week chasing a “100%” performance, then burning out and giving up.

Option 2: Trying to be 1% better every day, for a full year.

Let’s do the math.

7 days x 100% effort + 358 days x 0% effort = no change, or backsliding. You end up feeling like a failure.

365 days x 1% better every day = significant transformation. You end up feeling like a superstar.

Focus on “making a little progress” each day rather than being “perfect”.

Start from 0% and add. Notice your small accomplishments.

Let yourself be “good enough for now”. Take the pressure off. Be patient.

Keep showing up. Keep trying.

And let the bear bite someone else in the butt.

Start NOW

Don’t wait for the “perfect” day, “perfect” body, or “perfect” schedule full of free time to come.

It never will.

Do something NOW.

Take a “5-minute action” doing whatever you can do, immediately, to stay on track.

Do that, and you’re already 1% better. Congrats.

Keep it real

Remember our mantra:

Start wherever you are.
Use whatever you have.
Do whatever you can.

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