Progress, Not Perfection. Celebrating Small Wins.

We’re on a journey. This healthy living thing is a journey. When you’re going on a trip you want to do 2 things: You want to move forward, make progress towards your destination. But you also want to enjoy the scenery. I don’t know about you, but when I see something interesting on a trip, I want to stop and check it out. Maybe enjoy a unique restaurant for lunch or explore a park.  

This is our healthy living journey. It’s about making progress towards our goals but also celebrating the small wins along the way. Our journey isn’t meant to be perfect. We’re just meant to make progress.   

Perfection doesn’t exist. When you attempt to achieve it, there is no freedom.

When you embark on a health journey that has a list of do’s and don’ts, restrictions and rules, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Therefore you never see the progress to be celebrated because you’re putting so much pressure on yourself to never eat this and to always do that.

Perfection doesn't exist. But we can celebrate the small wins as we make progress. #progressnotperfection Share on X

What does progress look like?

To make progress you have to know where you’re going. Just like on a trip, you have to have a destination before you can determine if you’re on the right track and heading in the right direction. (Can you hear the kids saying, “Are we there yet?”)

So it is with your health and fitness journey. What are your goals?  

You may have a goal to lose 20 pounds. That won’t happen the first week.  But maybe you work out 3 times that first week. That’s progress towards your goal.

Has your friend talked you into running a race? If you’re a beginner, it’s not advisable to just lace up and go run for an hour your first time out. Maybe you start by running for 10 minutes, 3 times that first week. That’s progress.  

Your doctor just told you that your cholesterol is up. It won’t go down overnight even if you do skip the drive-thru on the way home. But skipping the drive-thru is progress towards lowering your cholesterol.  

What are you working towards? Are you noticing the progress you’re making rather than expecting perfection? Perfection doesn’t happen. If it does, it’s not going to be sustainable. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself.

Once you’ve identified where you’re going and you start recognizing the progress you’re making, it’s time to celebrate that progress.

Celebrate the small wins.  

If on a trip, you get in the car and never stop for a snack or a restroom break or to see something interesting, the trip will not be much fun. The kids will get bored and will continue asking “are we there yet?” But the young travelers are much happier when they get a break every now and then 🙂

So, back to our health and fitness journey. We need to pause along the way and celebrate.

You didn’t hit the snooze and you got up in time to work out. Yay!  

You skipped the drive-thru every night last week and fixed a healthy dinner at home instead. Go you!!

You started drinking more water. Right on!  

Let's celebrate small wins along the way! #progressnotperfection #focus #motivation Share on X

How can you celebrate the small wins?

Tell a friend. Get someone who will support you on your journey and give you a high five!

Get a manicure or a pedicure.

Buy a new workout outfit.

Have a coffee.  

Soak in a bath.  

What do you do now?

  1. Set the goals

  2. Monitor the progress

  3. Celebrate the small wins.  

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed!

Philippians 3:13-15 sums it up this way: Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

We’re pressing on. God wants us to honor the bodies that He has entrusted to us, but these bodies will never be perfect until we get to Heaven. Until then, we must be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us. And then celebrate the progress that we’re making.  

Do you have a small win to share? I’m sure you do. Let me know so I can give you a virtual high five!  

Come on over to my Facebook group where we support and encourage each other on our faith and fitness journey. Thursdays are Prayer and Praise Day. It happens weekly and is a great way to keep our focus on progress over perfection. 

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  1. Yes! We really do have to focus on progress. We will never be perfect (not in this life), but we can work hard towards our goals and take nice little steps towards them.

  2. I think this is so important. Too often we focus on the large goal and forget to celebrate the milestones we accomplish on the way to complete that goal!

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