Not Perfect But Not Giving In

Let me set the scene. At this very moment I am…

In the kitchen.

Talking to myself.

Out loud.

“What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while” Gretchen Rubin

Last week I made a pact with myself. To focus on specific things, daily. Certain things that are important to me, improvements that I want to make and skills I wish to develop.

I mapped it out.

IMG_3125

There are other things that I have chosen to do daily, on a separate map. Things that have to be done, and of course things that the Kids’ need/want to do as well.

So, here I am in my kitchen reprimanding myself, out loud, for ticking just a solitary thing off my self-enforced daily list.

Exercise. Running to be precise.

IMG_3126

(The proof)

What happened to baking, writing, reading and meditating?

Baking, and writing, was a sure thing today. Or so I thought. The plan had been (note: had) to bake the *perfect cupcake, photograph the recipe and write a blog post.

This would be the proverbial killing of two birds with one stone.

(*As we all know there is no such thing as “perfect”, but that’s what I am going to unapologetically title it, when I get round to actually doing it…)

But, the day is wearing on, I’ve wiped down the kitchen counters for the umpteenth time and the light, that is required to take a decent photo, is fading.

I’m thinking baking won’t be happening today. Does that mean I should give in?

It’ll take 10 minutes to type this post up. I can spare 10 minutes can’t I?

40% success rate. 3 out of 5 not done. Far from perfect but better than 5 out of 5 not done. As my day progressed and I realised I wouldn’t achieve what was intended, I could have decided to try for a perfect pass rate tomorrow, and give up on trying to improve today.

Tomorrow never comes.

Perfect is the enemy of good. In fact perfect can be the enemy of done.

“If you aspire to the highest place, it is no disgrace to stop at the second or even the third place.” Cicero 106-43 BC

**For anyone who loves a bit of drum and bass check this class track out – Not Giving In – Rudimetal – prepare to feel motivated!**

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Helen May 22, 2013, 12:36 am

    I have a daily map of targets similar to yours. Actually, the same as yours! However, life gets in the way. This week I’ve been sorting out my MOT, tidying the house (to be able to look my cleaner in the face), researching pressure therapy for my children, emailing school officials, conversing with more officials by phone or face, visiting friend’s with broken limbs, or issues in their lives and general mother/wifehood. I think, in my life anyway, realism and recognising what is possible to fit into sets of 24 hours is important. Crucial.
    I think for a long time I set myself unrealistic targets, setting myself up to fail on a daily basis. There is no worse feeling than waking up and knowing that failure is inevitable. It makes life miserable, and frankly doesn’t make a difference to my targets or personal goals. I think we ladies are guilty of organising life down to the last available second, and if that is how everyday life runs then there is no wriggle room for a last minute change of plan. So now I’m in transition. I still have that map of targets that I would like to achieve, but I think they will have to fit around the spontaneous changes. But then maybe the daily tasks can be slightly more maleable, and in steps my lovely cleaner. (something that I am still ashamed of, but also makes me far less stressed and far more happy) I also make a to-do-list in the evening, for the next day. My aim is to make this more achievable. There’s a sense of satisfaction when everything listed has a large tick through it! I also aim to list activities that give me pleasure, my personal targets for the day, and give them the same importance as other things on my list. But that is why I am in transition. Getting balance between ‘have to’s’ and ‘want to’s’ is really difficult. I’ve given up on perfect. I’ll cope with good enough. Everyone under my roof can be content with good enough. Important jobs can be completed on good enough days. My important people can be given my quality time on good enough days. I can give myself quality time on good enough days. Who knows, maybe I’ll find my trainers after enough ‘good enough’ days so that they can get covered in wet grass too!
    Thank you for your posts. I truly find them inspirational. I love how you try to achieve what you believe, trying to live by the principles you hold. That is something that I would like others to see in me. Please excuse the length of my reply! I guess this is a subject close to my heart. Living to perfectionist standards has been wearing me out!

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2013, 1:50 pm

      Great comment Helen. As for length – I love a detailed response! It sounds as though you are well on track to finding your balance. Mine hasn’t been achieved quite yet…my goals may be slightly time-unrealistic. Due to all the other commitments, some things may need to be every other day rather than daily – the meditation for example. But I wanted to see whether it was achievable. It’s finding contingency for the stuff that crops up that we do not expect also.
      Good luck on getting those trainers dirty!

  • Helen May 22, 2013, 12:36 am

    I have a daily map of targets similar to yours. Actually, the same as yours! However, life gets in the way. This week I’ve been sorting out my MOT, tidying the house (to be able to look my cleaner in the face), researching pressure therapy for my children, emailing school officials, conversing with more officials by phone or face, visiting friend’s with broken limbs, or issues in their lives and general mother/wifehood. I think, in my life anyway, realism and recognising what is possible to fit into sets of 24 hours is important. Crucial.
    I think for a long time I set myself unrealistic targets, setting myself up to fail on a daily basis. There is no worse feeling than waking up and knowing that failure is inevitable. It makes life miserable, and frankly doesn’t make a difference to my targets or personal goals. I think we ladies are guilty of organising life down to the last available second, and if that is how everyday life runs then there is no wriggle room for a last minute change of plan. So now I’m in transition. I still have that map of targets that I would like to achieve, but I think they will have to fit around the spontaneous changes. But then maybe the daily tasks can be slightly more maleable, and in steps my lovely cleaner. (something that I am still ashamed of, but also makes me far less stressed and far more happy) I also make a to-do-list in the evening, for the next day. My aim is to make this more achievable. There’s a sense of satisfaction when everything listed has a large tick through it! I also aim to list activities that give me pleasure, my personal targets for the day, and give them the same importance as other things on my list. But that is why I am in transition. Getting balance between ‘have to’s’ and ‘want to’s’ is really difficult. I’ve given up on perfect. I’ll cope with good enough. Everyone under my roof can be content with good enough. Important jobs can be completed on good enough days. My important people can be given my quality time on good enough days. I can give myself quality time on good enough days. Who knows, maybe I’ll find my trainers after enough ‘good enough’ days so that they can get covered in wet grass too!
    Thank you for your posts. I truly find them inspirational. I love how you try to achieve what you believe, trying to live by the principles you hold. That is something that I would like others to see in me. Please excuse the length of my reply! I guess this is a subject close to my heart. Living to perfectionist standards has been wearing me out!

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2013, 1:50 pm

      Great comment Helen. As for length – I love a detailed response! It sounds as though you are well on track to finding your balance. Mine hasn’t been achieved quite yet…my goals may be slightly time-unrealistic. Due to all the other commitments, some things may need to be every other day rather than daily – the meditation for example. But I wanted to see whether it was achievable. It’s finding contingency for the stuff that crops up that we do not expect also.
      Good luck on getting those trainers dirty!

  • Jo H. May 22, 2013, 4:58 am

    Helen, above, has said much of what I was thinking, and said it well.

    The only thing I would add is that I’ve read, and experienced first-hand, that it’s easier to make just one change at a time. It takes about 3 weeks to form a new habit, so give it some time. When it’s ingrained in your schedule, try another.

    You still have fairly young children. Kids are time-consuming! Give yourself the grace you’d give a good friend 🙂

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2013, 1:54 pm

      Hey Jo! I agree on the habit forming, definitely one at a time. I may have been a little optimistic with my daily to-dos. However, I see them slightly different to habit-forming – whether I am right or not in my approach remains to be seen – although the fact they aren’t getting done should give me some clue ;-). They are things that I do, and that I haven’t got to learn as such, just ensure I do them more regularly. That is apart from the meditation, which I have dabbled with but still have much to learn – hence this one task seems to be the very last on the list each day aka doesn’t get done! Thank you for the last sentence, I will indeed!

      • Jo H. May 22, 2013, 6:21 pm

        I’ve gotten to the point where I try to do ONE thing a day and then I’m happy if I do it 🙂 There is only so much time, it seems!

  • Jo H. May 22, 2013, 4:58 am

    Helen, above, has said much of what I was thinking, and said it well.

    The only thing I would add is that I’ve read, and experienced first-hand, that it’s easier to make just one change at a time. It takes about 3 weeks to form a new habit, so give it some time. When it’s ingrained in your schedule, try another.

    You still have fairly young children. Kids are time-consuming! Give yourself the grace you’d give a good friend 🙂

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2013, 1:54 pm

      Hey Jo! I agree on the habit forming, definitely one at a time. I may have been a little optimistic with my daily to-dos. However, I see them slightly different to habit-forming – whether I am right or not in my approach remains to be seen – although the fact they aren’t getting done should give me some clue ;-). They are things that I do, and that I haven’t got to learn as such, just ensure I do them more regularly. That is apart from the meditation, which I have dabbled with but still have much to learn – hence this one task seems to be the very last on the list each day aka doesn’t get done! Thank you for the last sentence, I will indeed!

      • Jo H. May 22, 2013, 6:21 pm

        I’ve gotten to the point where I try to do ONE thing a day and then I’m happy if I do it 🙂 There is only so much time, it seems!

  • sarahn May 22, 2013, 5:31 am

    Oh I love that song~! I need it now, always, forever :p

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2013, 12:56 pm

      It’s a keeper for sure! In fact the whole album is excellent. Rudimental’s music videos also tick the right boxes for me. They tell a story, and usually an inspirational one.
      I love this video from their recent UK number 1
      http://youtu.be/M97vR2V4vTs

      • sarahn May 22, 2013, 10:38 pm

        Ah I wish the video would load at work (which is of course NOT where I’m reading this ;p). I’ve not heard their whole album but I’m pretty sure I’d love it… I must learn this downloading music thing-ma-jig. Who’d think a 28 wouldn’t know how to do it?

  • sarahn May 22, 2013, 5:31 am

    Oh I love that song~! I need it now, always, forever :p

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2013, 12:56 pm

      It’s a keeper for sure! In fact the whole album is excellent. Rudimental’s music videos also tick the right boxes for me. They tell a story, and usually an inspirational one.
      I love this video from their recent UK number 1
      http://youtu.be/M97vR2V4vTs

      • sarahn May 22, 2013, 10:38 pm

        Ah I wish the video would load at work (which is of course NOT where I’m reading this ;p). I’ve not heard their whole album but I’m pretty sure I’d love it… I must learn this downloading music thing-ma-jig. Who’d think a 28 wouldn’t know how to do it?

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn May 22, 2013, 12:04 pm

    Goals are good, but unrealistic goals are not. Listen to the comments above as they have good things to say especially about perfectionism and it one step at a time.

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2013, 12:53 pm

      Thanks… I do understand totally where you are coming from. I don’t mind not achieving every thing I set myself to do, truly I don’t. I think the Cicero quote sums up my thoughts quite well. You may be right in that the goals may be unrealistic in that I just do not have the time, but I decided to give it a try to see whether I can do it all. I’m thinking maybe not. There’s a couple in there that may be relegated to every other day – due to other commitments.

      • Helen May 22, 2013, 12:57 pm

        Oh the irony!!! 😉

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn May 22, 2013, 12:04 pm

    Goals are good, but unrealistic goals are not. Listen to the comments above as they have good things to say especially about perfectionism and it one step at a time.

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2013, 12:53 pm

      Thanks… I do understand totally where you are coming from. I don’t mind not achieving every thing I set myself to do, truly I don’t. I think the Cicero quote sums up my thoughts quite well. You may be right in that the goals may be unrealistic in that I just do not have the time, but I decided to give it a try to see whether I can do it all. I’m thinking maybe not. There’s a couple in there that may be relegated to every other day – due to other commitments.

      • Helen May 22, 2013, 12:57 pm

        Oh the irony!!! 😉

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