Progress: it’s measured by the steps we take, not gaining immediate success. The dictionary defines it as “forward or onward movement toward a destination.”

In my past, I have never focused on progress, but rather perfection. All or nothing. I wanted success right away. If I didn’t get my nutrition right day after day, my workout in consistently through the week, or make dinner every night….”failure and start over” was spoken in my head. I would lose any momentum or traction I gained and would derail for weeks before I could try again. Or my mindset would be, if I couldn’t go “all in” then what was my point of even trying?

This got me nowhere but set back after set back. On the outside I looked like I had it all together, but inside I was a mess.

If I had a workout goal of exercising 4 times that week and by Thursday, I only worked out once….”I failed. I just can’t do this. I don’t have time. I will try again next week” would speak loudly in my head. And then even worse, when the next week came around, I didn’t have the motivation because I still felt defeated over week 1. And so the cycle would continue. Or, with my work/life balance, I had completely thrown in the towel for 3 years and had a pity party that this was just the way life was going to be. And I accepted it.

But if it’s not what we want, we can’t accept it. And if the big picture doesn’t feel attainable right now, we need to focus on progress, not perfection while we take the journey. We need to give ourselves a little grace and take it one day at a time.

This year as I have worked on balance, I replaced the word “perfection” with “progress.” I took away my “all or nothing” mentality, I shut down my “failure and start over” inner voice, and every day I loved myself for where I was at. I appreciate the progress I have gained in my nutrition as I continue to work towards getting more toned. I celebrate the 1.5 miles I run during my 3 mile course, even though I am not able to run the whole way yet. I am accepting the fact that I need to start over with my running endurance to try and prevent my knee from hurting again. I cherish the intentional time I have with my family when I am still striving toward even more quality time. (To name just a few.)

And if I don’t have it all together one day… that’s okay. Because I’m making progress. Change takes time.

I don’t have it together every day. None of us do. So if this post resonates with you, let’s stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to have everything just right.

Embrace where you are at.

Love yourself for who you are right now. It will help motivate you to get where you want to go.

Focus on progress not perfection.

Enjoy the journey. So much is missed trying to race to the finish line. Enjoy your progress and let it create character in you and perseverance. You won’t regret it.