The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

Friday, April 06, 2012

I've been back here, tracking my food and exercise for about 2 weeks now. The weight is coming off -- food tracking is making a big difference in keeping me accountable, and somehow, I am not finding it as annoying as I used to.

I tend to be a bit of perfectionist and sometimes I start to wonder whether I'm tracking everything perfectly. What if the mug I'm using for water at work doesn't hold 2 cups of water, but 1.5 cups? How much of a serving should I call that mouthful of food? Did that spinning class really burn 593 calories? I want to make sure everything is tracked perfectly.

For all of us who are perfectionists, we need to keep in mind the line from Voltaire's poem, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Perfection is not always achievable. Good is always achievable. Tracking my water intake is good. Whether I drank exactly 8 cups of water is not the important measure, the important measure is that I am aware of my water intake and striving to drink more of it. The fact that before starting back here, I only drank water when I worked out, and for the last week and half I've been drinking roughly 8 cups a day is good.

Perfectionism makes me focus too much on the destination, and not the journey. Perfectionism could derail my journey entirely, because when I can't achieve perfection, I get frustrated and quit. This time, I'm not quitting. This time, I'm focusing on the good.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, thanks for that quote (or thank you, Voltaire!).

    I am so an all-or-nothing kind of girl, and this time out, I'm trying to prevent myself from throwing it all away when I slip-up.

    "Perfect is the enemy of the good" is an excellent reminder that I can do this, even if I don't always do it perfectly!

    3196 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/21/2012 7:51:50 PM
    I'm the same way with certain things. I am so much a perfectionist. We can do this though. One day at a time. You're doing great!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3199 days ago
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