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Blog: Defeating Perfectionism

5 minute read.  Perfectionism is generally a good thing, right?  In today's day and age, where competition is fierce and everyone else's lives can appear 'perfect', the day to day struggle to achieve your absolute best is surely a noble aim.  Well, not necessarily, says Advanced Integrative Health Coach, Heidi Jones.  With a background in health coaching programs that enable people to become the best version of themselves, she sees the damaging effects of Perfectionism on her clients and here shares her workable tips to achieve your goals, without the self-sabotage...

 All in or All out? Use these steps to help you achieve your goals.

One of the most common phrases I hear from the women I work with is ‘I’m someone who is either all in or all out’, I actually wait for them to say it during the health history consultation!

As a coach it’s a signal of a perfectionist, someone who is driven with their goals (all in) but have the cycle of struggling with accountability, feeling overwhelmed, fatigued and eventually being ‘all out’. Sometimes they can pick themselves up after a bad day but mostly likely weeks or months go by before they are ready to start again, which they do and repeat the process all over again.

We all know someone who is always starting a new diet and is all in for first the 2-3 weeks; they have chucked out all the ‘bad’ food from the house, they now only eat during certain hours of the day, no treats allowed, count calories and start exercising everyday of the week. They achieve some instant results and feel good, but then, something happens, perhaps a party, a holiday or night on the sofa with a take-away and they are all out.

This behaviour is often driven by the fear of failure and the belief that without 100% commitment at all times, there is no chance of success.

If you’re reading this and thinking ‘yup that’s me’ then you’re not alone. What I’m hear to tell you is this ‘all-in’ pressure you put on yourself does not serve you, what it does is wear you down. You start with the right intentions but what you’re actually doing is overachieving at the expense of your own wellbeing.

I’ve put together 3 crucial steps I use at the initial stages of supporting my clients who approach goals ‘all in’, these exercises can be used for any form of goal: health, fitness, wellbeing even career.

3 steps to a more sustainable approach to achieving your goals:

Step 1: Learn to enjoy the process not just the outcome

Focus on your daily accomplishments towards achieving the goal and ways to enjoy the process.

Journal exercise:

At the end of each day write down all the actions that What Went Well during the day - actions and behaviours that have supported you to move forward with your goal, then write down one thing (small step) that could be Even Better If, something you can do tomorrow to help you to continue moving towards your goal. This exercise is a great tool to help you stay focused on the process and to enjoy the journey by highlighting your accomplishments on a daily basis.

Journal template:

DAILY REFLECTIONS

GOAL:

Date:

WWW:

_____________________

_____________________

_____________________

_____________________

_____________________

EBI:

_____________________

_____________________

Step 2: Celebrate victories, even the smallest ones

Focus on your milestones towards achieving the goal and find ways to reward yourself to celebrate.

 Journal exercise:

Create your action plan by listing the milestones you will go through in the process of achieving your goal. I always say a milestone is a step you must reach to continue to move forward - for example; to run a 10k, milestones would include to run 2k, 5k and 8k without stopping.

 Journal template:

 YOUR ACTION PLAN

Goal and action steps to achieve my health and wellness goals

 GOAL: _______________________

 MILESTONE 1: ________________

Top 2 actions steps to get me there:

1.      __________________________

2.      __________________________

 MILESTONE 2: ________________

Top 2 actions steps to get me there:

1.      __________________________

2.      __________________________

 MILESTONE 3: ________________

Top 2 actions steps to get me there:

1.      __________________________

2.      __________________________

 Add as many milestones as you need, my suggestion is set at least 1 milestone a month to help maintain motivation and to enjoy the process!

 Step 3: Delegate, and let go of whatever isn’t critical

Focus on the 3 critical actions each that need to be accomplished each day to move forward with your goal, then let go of the rest or seek for support.

 Journal template:

 DAY:

MY TOP 3 PRIORITIES TODAY:

1.      __________________________

2.      __________________________

3.      __________________________

 TO LET GO OF:

TO DELEGATE:

 These 3 exercises are a starting point to help you take a more gentle and manageable approach to achieving your goals. Always be aware of your motivations and use these approaches to feel more success orientated rather than in fear of failing. It will be tempting to go all in, but by focusing on the big picture, being kind to yourself and keeping on track with your daily accomplishments you will gradually start to feel great, see results and stay on track for the long term!

 

Heidi offers a free initial health consultation upon completion of your health and lifestyle questionnaire.  To learn more about her upcoming coaching and wellness retreat in France, please contact her directly at heidi@heidijonescoaching.com.

 

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