Progress over Perfection: Confessions a Failure

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Did you make a resolution this New Year to change your life in some way? If so, you’re one of the 41% of Americans who usually make yearly resolutions. But of those 41%, only 8% of them meet their goal. So if you’ve made a resolution this year, chances are good that you’re going to fail.

Failure.

So many of us feel like failures in so many parts of our lives before resolutions. I know that for myself I never feel tall enough, thin enough, smart enough, funny enough, mom enough, spiritual enough, clean enough, rich enough, kind enough… and the list goes on. For years, I have programmed myself to believe that things are only successful if they are met 100 percent the first time. But  you know what? That’s just not true.

Wake Up Call

In August 2017, I got the news that I was pre-diabetic. I wasn’t surprised. I’ve been overweight since I was 11 years old. I have a sedentary job and didn’t exercise on a regular basis. I knew that I was eating too much sugar. If I didn’t change my lifestyle, I had a 70% chance of developing type 2 diabetes at some point in my life.

So, I did what I hope most people would do: I overhauled my lifestyle! I started to count calories, limit sugar, and cut out all sugary drinks. I started to exercise three to four days per week. In three months, I lost 20 pounds and went down a pant’s size. I was feeling amazing!

And then, life happened.

Things can really sneak up on us. It may be an illness, an expected stressor, or a couple of meals from the drive thru line, but things get in the way of our best plans and intentions. I fell off of my plan, and the defeating negative voice in my brain screamed at me. “You’re a failure. You’ll never master this. Just give up,” it said. And my heart sank down along with my hope of ever being healthy and reversing my diagnosis. I had failed.

Back At It

We should not allow a bad day or poor decision to take away all of the positive choices made and things we’ve positively done in the past. Having one bad day didn’t erase all of the miles I’d walked or weight I’d already lost. It didn’t take away the days of success I’d already experienced, and it certainly didn’t give me a reason to quit. Lifestyle changes are not all-or-nothing. They are a string of small decisions grouped together over time.

Life is full of ups and downs. Some days, we are able to stick to the best choices for ourselves. And other days, we are muddling through and hoping for the best. Both days count towards your goals. This journey is not about perfection; it’s about making progress toward your goals. Sometimes, my progress is slow, but I keep moving in the right direction.

Recommitted

Do you feel like a failure with your life-changing and inspiring resolution this year? I urge you to try again and keep trying again until you’ve mastered it. We have the opportunity every day to make the best choice for ourselves and our futures. Are you trying to quit smoking? Do you want to yell less and listen more? Is a new commitment to exercise your plan? Are you working to keep diabetes at bay like I am? Whatever you’re facing, you can do this thing.

Let today be the day you begin again and begin anew. I challenge you to make one small choice today towards your goal. I know you can do it!

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Gretchen has lived in Colorado since she was 12 and never wants to leave. She has a 13-year-old son who is into having a good time, especially with sports and Fortnite. Together, they are navigating the teen world of puberty and growing up. She has a wonderful husband, having been surprised and blessed with a second chance at love. Their family enjoys playing board games, watching Avengers movies, and sharing dumb jokes over good food. In her free time, she loves to read, shop for purses, play games, watch football, laugh with her family, cook delicious food, and dream of the next home improvement project.