Perfection is the enemy of progress

If you’re anything like me (and I truly hope for your sake that you’re not), you are probably interested in figuring out the best way of doing things before you make any major decisions or changes in your life.

And when you are trying to decide on a major expense like a car or a house, that makes a lot of sense. Especially because there are very major differences between say a minivan and a convertible, and with a big cash outlay like that you really can’t turn around in a month and say “You know, I actually don’t like this one. I want my money back.” Well, you can, but the car dealer is going to laugh so hard and so long at you he might just pass out from lack of air because he can’t stop to breathe. And then offer to take it back for half as much as you paid.

Diet and nutrition aren’t a capital expense. Making a decision now doesn’t involve a gigantic sunk cost that is unrecoverable. And there is no optimal plan, no magic bullet, and nothing that says you can’t change anything next week or even tomorrow if you learn something new that is really important. If you keep planning for another week, do you know what the difference is going to be?

Nothing. You are definitely not going to suddenly be any thinner. Your life won’t be any better. And you probably won’t actually know a whole lot more than you do now.

With fitness, it can be really easy to suffer from information overload. There are so many voices out there clamoring for your attention, telling you that they have The Answer. It can be like trying to drink from a fire hose. And you easily get petrified of making the wrong decision, so you make the worst one of all. You do nothing.

So consider this your kick in the ass. “But,” you scream in denial, “I don’t know what to do!”

Ok then. I will give you the magic three point plan that the establishment doesn’t want you to know about and will get you started on the path to awesome and skinny. Ready?

One. Go online and use a daily calorie needs calculator to find out what your daily caloric requirements are. Set your daily calorie intake at 500 less than that, but not less than 1200 calories per day.

Two. Set your daily protein intake at one gram per pound of body mass (or 0.7 if you are obese).

Three. Move or exercise more this week than you did last week. That can even mean walking around the block once if you normally don’t leave the house. Or even just out to the sidewalk if around the block is too much for you right now.

That’s it. The rest is just details that you can figure out eventually. But the only thing that will change between now and next week is what you decide to change. And it isn’t going to get any easier, and you aren’t going to get any farther towards your goals unless you make the first steps.

Perfection is the enemy of progress. Make the first step in a positive direction. After that, you can start to worry about where the rest of them will take you.

Good enough is all there is, so go out there and be good enough. It’s a hell of a lot better than being fat and lazy. And maybe one day you will be awesome. But the road from here to there isn’t getting any shorter.

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