Persistence , not Perfection (The 80/20 rule)

Hello and welcome to the Living Revolution 🙂

I’m starting today’s post with a shoutout to an amazing client of mine, whose name is Joanie. As a coach, it is so rewarding to watch her follow the plan, and put effort and thought toward achieving her fitness goals. Watching Joanie’s progress reminds me that little pieces, placed intentionally, do add up to something much more profound! Joanie’s consistency with her diet and training, and her willingness to make adjustments to “get it right” are inspirational. She had a few stumbles, but she didn’t let them deter her from continuing to pursue her goals. Her excitement at achieving new strength goals is incredible! I respect her so much for her vulnerability and her ability to hold herself accountable. Her sense of personal responsibility is an outstanding example of how to be successful by making “good” choices. If you know Joanie personally, I encourage you to acknowledge her effort, she is doing an outstanding job!!

What motivates me most about Joanie is her “stick-to-it-ive-ness”(that word is why they call it a “Creative Writing” degree. Ha!). What I mean is that she isn’t perfect, and even if she was, life has thrown at least a few curveballs her way, but she wasn’t deterred. She didn’t turn a molehill into a mountain. She didn’t let the misstep become the pattern of behavior, and most important of all, she didn’t give up!

I’m sitting here in a coffeeshop, working my way through client programming, emails and creative pursuits, sipping a mocha, and eating a pastry. I try to do this every week, to remind myself that it is okay to take life at a slower pace. But I could not live at this pace. I can handle this pace every once in a while, because I know it is good for my head, but I need the ruckus of a busy schedule to keep me on my toes. I try to sprinkle quiet time throughout my week, just to make sure I don’t go insane, but I thrive when I am busy!

 These two scenarios may not seem to have any connection. Let me try to explain…

I think many people fail to achieve their fitness goals (and ultimately fail in life) because they assume a “standard of perfection”. That is, they have goals and dreams, and they even find a way to begin pursuing these, and then they have a hiccup, or they briefly lose their grip, and instead of sucking it up and carrying on, they self-implode, claiming “if I can’t do something 100%, then I am not going to do it at all!”.

NEWS FLASH!! No one…none of us…not anyone….does anything at 100%. So, get over it.

We all occasionally need a break from the norm. We all occasionally need to fail, hard. We all need to occasionaly get shaken up, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Imagine all the great people the world would have, if more people figured out how to give themselves a break, and not take sh*# so serious. If you have your shit together 80% of the time, then you are kicking ass! Let go of the other 20%, and realize the Universe is going to fuck with you, because overcoming challenges is how we grow.

^^^^^This is what I see in people like Joanie. This is something I am figuring out in my own life on a daily basis. This is why I take my coffeeshop time. This is something I am applying to my training. And to my relationships. And to my eating plan. And to how I parent my kids. And to how I coach my clients and gym members. You are seeing the pattern, yes?

Here’s the deal: Perfection is unattainable. Frankly, perfection is boring. Look around you. The world is chaotic and tumultuous, and you can’t control any of it. I offer these simple suggestions:

Make “effort” your pattern of practice.

Make mindfulness and grace part of daily conversation with yourself.

Understand that Better-than-Average is a great way to live.

How do you give yourself a break? What are a few ways you give yourself grace? Tell me a few ways you put this “80/20 rule” to practice in your daily life. Email me at, or leave a comment on this post. I look forward to hearing from you!

As always, thank you for reading my words, and for participating in the Living Revolution! Until next time…



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