Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Act in the (Imperfect) Moment

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Stop waiting for the perfect time. It’s already here …

Procrastination is a lifestyle for many. The perfectionist in us delays tasks until they can be executed flawlessly. The result: A growing list of ignored workouts, unfinished projects, and missed lifetime opportunities.

As a perfectionist, the pressure is always on the self and the need to meet high expectations (that are often unreasonable).  It takes a lot of energy to live that way in our imperfect world. Something is better than nothing. That should be the perfectionist’s mantra. Stop allowing perfectionism to interfere with your attempts at healthy living. Accept reality and work with it. The first step in every task is often the hardest, so don’t add the pressures of perfection.

Acknowledge All Efforts

This can mean giving yourself credit for simply showing up. Stop at the Center, even if you are not “up for” your workout. Experiment with a variety of exercise equipment. Try out the Pilates reformer. Chat with staff. You may not accomplish a full workout, but you will progress along your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Be Flexible

Make it work!
Make it work!

If you forgot your bathing suit for your aquatics workout, lace up your sneakers and hit the Exercise Floor. No sneakers? It may be time to give a barefoot Group Fitness class a try. (They exist! Check the schedule.) If the day does not allow your daily one-hour workout, increase the intensity and accomplish a half-hour. Achieving the non-perfect workout is better than no workout at all.

Don’t give up because conditions are not ideal. Compromise and make it work. Whatever you do, even if a portion of the whole, do it with vigor and self-confidence. You are striving to improve with each movement. That’s what counts.

Be Accepting

You won’t always be perfect at exercise, or at life. You do not need to be. Give your best effort and be happy with yourself. Your goal may be 30 minutes on the elliptical, but 20 minutes might be best for today. Weight loss goals may elude you, but notice other improvements in your health as you persevere. Perhaps one healthy improvement can be accepting yourself as you are today– a person who is striving to become healthier, stronger, and happier.

Stop being preoccupied with a perfect performance, whether in sports or everyday life. This mentality distracts and drains energy and pleasure. Suddenly, the sport/hobby/workout becomes a chore where self-satisfaction and enjoyment are replaced with doubt and struggle to gain the unachievable. Keep your expectations realistic.

Do It Right, Not Perfect

Modify when meh. Don't compromise form.
Modify when meh. Don’t compromise form.

At the Center, a personal trainer or fitness instructor is always happy to help. You should never exercise incorrectly with their insight readily available. Even if just walking through the moves in a class or on the Exercise Floor, do not sacrifice proper form. Shorten your workout, lighten your weights, and slow your pace, if you must. But, never practice improper form. That is one instance when doing nothing is actually better than doing something.

Speak with a trainer or fitness instructor on safe, effective ways to customize workouts to your changing needs. These modifications help maintain commitment even when conditions are not ideal (because you are tired, rushed, or a thousand other imperfect situations). Sloppiness is never acceptable in a workout. It can lead to bad habits, improper mechanics, incorrect compensations, and injury.

Even paradise has flaws.
Even paradise has flaws.

Perfect Being Imperfect

The path to wellness is frequently marked with detours and obstacles. An unbending road often leads to a dead-end. Mistakes and change are a couple of life’s only constants. Stop procrastinating for fear of flaws. Embrace this imperfect life and all you can learn from it.

 

Image Credits

Sneaker lace-up: flickr.com/photos/guzzphoto/8424357797/

Flawed paradise: flickr.com/photos/puroticorico/2128142092/

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