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Published on February 12, 2020

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Progress vs. Perfection

How do you measure success?

We're now a few weeks into 2020. How are those New Year's resolutions coming along? Many of you set goals to improve your health. Oftentimes, these goals are unrealistic and you find yourself falling back into old habits after a few weeks.

Now what? Do you give up because perfection is no longer an option? Absolutely not! Perfection isn't realistic, and it may even hinder those health goals you set on January 1st. Strict "all-or-nothing" resolutions are frustrating. Goals like that force you to focus on your failures. Missing a day of your New Year's Resolution doesn't mean that you've failed.

Ultimately, people make resolutions with the goal of becoming healthier and happier. So ask yourself if you have improved your health with your goals and are happier because of them? If so, congratulate yourself and build from it. Looking at progress rather than perfection allows you to see what is working, rather than what you've failed to accomplish. Sometimes resolutions need amendments to really work long-term. Consider the barriers to your resolution and experiment with different strategies to make it work. Approach problem-solving as an experiment, realizing that not every experiment works. Continue to look for better ways to approach the challenge.

Perfection is frustrating because it is unattainable. Progress is hopeful because it's always there, as long as you are making adjustments and improvements. You don't need to be perfect to be healthier. Keep up the progress you are making and forget about perfection. In reality, nobody is perfect anyway!

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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