Why We Shouldn’t Let Perfect Health Be the Enemy of Good Health

The beauty of the internet is that you can find almost anything you want.  Whilst Voltaire is usually attributed the quote “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good,” what he actually said was “best is the enemy of good.”

Either way, he was right.

How many of us have fallen off track with our health and fitness because we didn’t perfectly adhere to a diet or fitness regime?

We then start to wonder, what’s the point?

The point is, good enough is good enough.

Just because we raided the biscuit tin in the staff kitchen, doesn’t mean the bean loaded chilli wraps with a green salad for dinner loses its nutritional value.

Just because we didn’t manage our 2km run, the 1km run still got us moving.

But for many of us, we start beating ourselves up for not having more control around the biscuit tin or not hitting that 2km marker.

Us humans can develop this habit of catastrophising.  Which in short it makes us believe we’re in a worse situation than we really are.

We’re more likely to think that one biscuit is ruining our health and wellness journey rather than think the dinner containing protein, healthy fats and complex carbs is a great step forwards on our wellness journey.

So how do we turn it around?

We alter the goal posts.  We start by just doing better, not being perfect, just doing better.

If in an ideal world, perfect is working out 3 days a week for 40-minutes, start by working out 1 day a week, then 2 days a week, then 3 days a week.  If one week life gets busy, rather than 40-minute workouts, are 20-minute workouts more manageable?  20-minute workouts are still good.

If in an ideal world, perfect is walking 10,000 steps every day, 5 days of 10,000 steps is still better than zero days.  5 days is still good.

If in an ideal world, you want to avoid all processed foods, but the kids want to go to a burger restaurant, the other meals you have that day can still be meals that don’t involve processed foods.

If in an ideal world, you want to limit alcohol because you know it’s compromising your weight loss goals, but you want to join co-workers for a colleague’s leaving do, having one drink is better than having four, and equally, having 6 out of 7 alcohol-free nights is better than no alcohol-free nights.

Moving forwards, think about your next health and wellness goals.  What would your ideal routine look like?  Aim for that.  But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater if you don’t quite hit it.  Any step towards them is a step in the right direction.

We often think that health and wellness is a destination, the perfect destination.  But perhaps it should be a journey, a good journey.

What’s next on your health and wellness journey?