Good Enough Is Better Than Perfect: Why Baby Steps Are So Powerful

baby step

I can tell from the comments on last week’s post that you, my readers, have high expectations for yourselves.

You listed the many areas where you feel you are not enough – not nearly enough.

Having high expectations and desiring to improve are good things – very good things.

“I’m not good enough at feeding healthy meals to my family” is not such a dangerous thought, though it would be better to formulate it more positively such as, “I’m not yet where I want to be with feeding my family healthy meals.”

“I’m not enough” is only dangerous if the feelings of inadequacy keep you from taking action – or worse – accepting love.

You are enough. Right now. As you are.

You are loved – even adored by your family, even though you have room to grow as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a neighbor, a homemaker, and all your other roles.

Which one of you would not love your child because he is not yet good enough at picking up after himself, or at speaking kindly to his siblings, or at honoring his father?

We all find our kids wonderful in so many ways just as they are. We all see the many, many ways they still need to grow.

The same is true for us. Let’s live it!

As a recovering procrastinator, the gap between where I am now and where I want to be is often so huge I’m too discouraged to start.

If I can’t do it right, I won’t do it at all.

That is folly. The power of one faltering step in the right direction cannot be underestimated.

The Power of Baby Steps

The other day I went for a jog. I bounced along easily for 30 minutes, marveling at how good I felt when only a month ago running down the street was painful.

What intense workout program did I start to enjoy such a transformation in one short month?

Answer: I went for a walk to the playground with my daughter.

I’ve done that many times before – that doesn’t count as exercise! But it counted to S Health, the app on my new phone that I accidentally set to “Baby Steps to a 5K.”

The program said “workout paused” more times than I can count as I followed my daughter, but what we did that day “counted” as workout number one. I got awards for my longest workout, my fastest pace, and more.  That was fun.

Two days later my phone prompted me to “run” again. This time I went with all the kids. We stopped even more but I managed to push us just a little bit further and I started walking back and forth with the stroller when the kids stopped to play.

When S Health prompted me to run while we were on a family trip, I borrowed my friend’s stroller and took the baby for a walk during nap-time. I never would have made time for exercise like that before!

The great thing is, I’m still only supposed to be walking briskly during my workouts, so whenever I actually get a chance to run on my own or just with the stroller I’m going above and beyond. It feels great!

Who would have though that running at a snail’s pace for one mile would be going above and beyond?!

A month ago I would have said I’m not in a place yet where I can get exercise. The time I have is too insignificant to make any progress.

But I am my own counter example.

Those tiny, “not good enough” attempts at doing just a little bit more than before meant that I kept going, and going for 12 workouts in one month meant enjoying the fruit of a painless run!

You are enough. Small is enough – no, small is better! Good enough is better than perfect because it means you START.

What’s the simplest version you can start today?


(P.S. I wrote this post in an hour and have to work hard not to edit and fix it but just get it published. I don’t have time to write perfect posts so I either have to publish good enough or not at all. It’s a constant struggle!)

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