Chasing Progress Not Perfection

Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes progress.

As a coach, one of the most common barriers I encounter when working with individuals is the fear that the outcome of their best efforts will not result in the intended goal. And so, is it worth making the effort in the first place?

In truth, the time required for a person to achieve anything they want to do or break down any goal, can be identified by where they sit (their current reality) in three basic categories;

  1. Knowledge (What?)
  2. Skill (How?)
  3. Desire (Why?)

Establishing the reality of how much you actually know about whatever it is you want to do (knowledge), how good you are right now at that activity (skill), and why you really care about it (desire) will uncover the extent of the gaps that need to be bridged to arrive at a successful end-point (the goal). Often, people only look at the tantalizing goal or at others that have successfully arrived and fail to establish the reality of the distance and work required to get there. 

If you are serious about losing 20 pounds over 3 months, for example, you are much more likely to achieve it if you understand the science behind weight loss, follow through on what to do and have a clear reason to stick with it when you find yourself losing momentum.

With each goal I set for myself, I always focus on these three elements, building my incremental action steps around #1 & #2 while never losing sight of #3 (the desire that keeps me motivated).

There is no such thing as perfection, but with time and effort, measurable progress is very much a possibility with the right approach. With sufficient progress, you may surprise yourself at what you were in fact able to achieve.