I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the fitness industry has a bit of an obsession with perfection. And it’s fuel to the fire for folks with a Type A personality.
There are so many “best workout routines” and exercise “prescriptions”, it’s hard to find something that will fit into your life without creating more “shoulds” and causing even more stress.
The truth is that no one is perfect all the time – we’re only human. It’s a-okay to have days where you don’t work out for as long, at as high an intensity, or at all.
The key is to keep showing up. Consistency will win over perfection or intensity every time.
Half-Ass Your Workout
I’ve always been an A+ student. I’m a perfectionist (although I’m working on it). An over-achiever. A striver.
And I work with a lot of people like me. I work with folks who in their careers, their parenting, their hobbies and their self-care want to absolutely knock it out of the park.
Except that the reality is, in our busy lives something has to give.
All too often, I see parents giving out slack in their schedule by sacrificing these self-care practices and their hobbies.
And with reduced time for any of these things, it all goes out the window.
Here’s the rub:
Our ambition, work ethic and attention to detail have taken us far in life. But our unyielding drive to do an A+ job can, at times, set us up for failure. If we’re unwilling to take imperfect action when something is clearly better than nothing, we’re missing an opportunity.
And here’s a fact: It’s better to do a little exercise than no exercise. It’s better to move a little on a consistent basis than to be sedentary most days of the week.
I get it. You have a hard time doing something if you know you’re going to do a half-ass job.
I’m here to reassure you: It’s okay to half-ass it.
Throw caution to the wind: ditch the all-or-nothing approach. Embrace the messy middle.
When it comes to exercise, consistency is way more important than perfection.
1) Small efforts add up.
Engaging in 2 or 3 short workouts on a long-term basis will yield more in the long run than one 60 minute workout every couple of weeks.
2) You’ll be building a habit that will keep you exercising into the future.
Slow progress is still progress.
Slow progress sets a foundation for more progress when your lifestyle can accomodate it.
3) Taking action begets motivation.
Taking action towards a goal helps you stay on course as you develop a new habit. When you workout, even if you didn’t really want to, you often feel great afterwards and more motivated to work out again.
Create a Habit Around Showing Up
If you’ve been having trouble sticking with your exercise routine, it might be those glorious Type A personality traits. But a great strength of ours is that we can learn new tricks. Keep reminding yourself: when it comes to exercise, something is always better than nothing. It all counts.
Take a step back and consider reframing your goal. Instead of worrying as much about the contents of your workout, build a habit around simply showing up. Then you can shift your focus to fine-tuning your workouts.
Small efforts add up, Action begets motivation. And consistency is the foundation of an exercise habit that will keep you exercising into the future.
If half-assing your workout today is what it takes to get you there, it’s a win!
If you’re building an exercise habit after pregnancy, keep reading:
Finding Time to Exercise When There Really is No Time: Working Out With a Toddler or Baby at Home
10 Lessons I’ve Learned During My Return to Exercise After Giving Birth
What It Actually Means to “Listen to Your Body” When You’re Pregnant or Postpartum
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