A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Progress Does Not Equal Perfection

I have a confession to make. I’m not very good at changing. Next week I’ll turn 34 and while I have many things I want to change about my life, I’m not making the kind of progress I had hoped for.

One of the things I have learned in my almost 34 years of life is:

If nothing changes . . . Nothing changes.

Yep, my life won’t change if I don’t. That kind of truth sort of slaps me in the face.

  • If I don’t install that Spanish program and start practicing, I won’t learn much Spanish.
  • If I don’t quit staying up so late at night, I’m still gonna be tired every day.
  • If I don’t force my lazy butt to exercise more, I’m going to continue to be frustrated with my weight.
  • If I don’t change the way I fill my days, I’ll continue to resent how much I work.
  • If I don’t take the time to write more, I won’t finish any projects.
  • If I don’t plan our next big family trip, it probably won’t happen at all.

The list could go on and on but you get the idea. It’s up to me to change the things I want to change.

Too Many Changes

Sometimes I sabotage myself with trying to change too many things at once.

Taking on too many changes at once is sort of like the mistake of trying to declutter all the rooms in your house at once. It’s just overwhelming.

When I started the Minimize Yo Butt challenge, I set a lot of goals for myself. I wanted to lose ten pounds (or was it 15), drink more water, exercise every day, and switch over to a mainly Paleo diet.

I have to tell you that with only a week left on the challenge, I have really only succeeded on changing over to Paleo. All the other changes I wanted to make have not gone as well as I had hoped. But I will not let myself get too discouraged.

Victory in Every Change

Changing my eating wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected. For years I’ve been a horribly unhealthy eater. I had basically just given up trying to change it. I never felt hugely overweight, just moderately unhappy with how I looked. Eventually I realized that the slow creeping increase of my weight wasn’t just negatively impacting how I looked, it was impacting my overall health.

So switching to Paleo has been great. Have I had setbacks? Sure. Do I consider myself the perfect Paleo eater? Nope. But I am doing it!

The greatest victory was realizing that I have actually changed something about myself. Now I eat Paleo most of the time like I was hoping to. If I stray from eating that way, I know it’s a temporary treat.

I’m not abandoning the change I’ve made and that feels great to me. I’m proud of myself for that. And because of the realization that progress does not equal perfection, I feel encouraged enough to tackle future life changes.

Tell me a change you’re proud of yourself for making. Progress is not perfection! Be proud and feel free to brag on yourself.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider signing up for updates or follow me on Twitter. Thanks so much for reading!

NOTE: Dee was the winner of Matt Madeiro’s book, Roots. I had too hard of a time picking a favorite comment, so I went with a random drawing instead. I’ll be giving away one more copy of Roots along with several other books next week at the end of Minimize Yo Butt.

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Article originally published on 08/22/2011

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  1. I’m right there with you, Faith. Thanks for another great post. The only time nothing changed doesn’t equal nothing changed is when circumstances make the change for you. For instance, our cable company recently switched over to an all-digital format. While we didn’t really need to do anything (our very limited cable package would lose only one channel without the box), we also didn’t actively make a decision in the matter. It felt horrible to realize that the switch had occurred while we merrily ignored reality. Even though the cable company did a poor job with notifications, we knew the change was coming. Argh!

    Minimize Yo Butt has helped me get back into a regular fitness routine, despite ridiculous heat and humidity. I’m looking forward to getting outside more as the weather cools. I’ve also made some positive changes in my eating habits. We’ll see what the scale says at the end of the challenge. As for getting to bed earlier, I’m still struggling mightily with that one.

    • Faith Janes says

      Thanks for your comment, Celeste. You’re right…sometimes our circumstances will change around us and force us to deal with it.

      I too am looking forward to more outside activity with weather cooling. I’m so glad you’ve been part of the MYB challenge. It’s been great to follow along with you. I’m anxious to hear your progress at the end of it all.

  2. Faith,
    Good for you for making the change! Paleo seems to work well, hopefully you feel better and some weight loss should come soon.
    Hubby and I are doing a 15 day Reboot, based on the video Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (on Netflix, if interested). It is based upon juicing and eating a diet of mainly fruits and vegetables, at least for the 15 days. Then you can add in protein, nuts and seeds.
    Hubby and I started last Tuesday, on just fruit and veggies and some juices. He has lost 10 pounds and I have lost 8! Today is day 1 of straight juicing, although I have to tell you we cheated and had a bowl of fresh vegetable soup too!
    I love that it has helped to break my addiction to processed foods and sugars. Will I ever eat them again? A little, in moderation. I also want to learn to make treats and desserts, just more healthy and “clean”.
    Happy early birthday!
    Why don’t you just DO what you are supposed to?

    • Faith Janes says

      Thanks, Bernice. I am definitely going to watch that video with my husband. It sounds good. It’s quite a challenge dealing with menus for 10 people but ya gotta do whatcha gotta do, right? Those are some awesome results you two are having! Way to go!!

    • That’s awesome Bernice. I’m happy for you!

  3. Hi Faith,

    Change has been a constant for me lately as well. As you know I’ve been restructuring my work life lately and I’ve been really proud of that change.

    I’m still working on my health goals as well. The most important difference for me is that I’m now more conscious of how my behavior affects my health. We’re all a work in progress. 🙂

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