People always want to know what the magic ingredient is. They want to know what they need to purchase, who they need to know, or what pill they need to take. In the bodacious words of one of my favorite animated characters, Po the Kung Fu Panda, “There is no secret ingredient.” There is, however, a secret you need to know to get you there. It’s so simple, but so often neglected.
The secret? Quit trying to be perfect! If you wait around until you are perfect at something, you’ll never attempt it. If you wait until you are perfect at keeping house, you’ll always live in a pigpen. If you wait until you are the perfect size or weight, you’ll be fat forever. The secret is in progress, not perfection.
If you only want perfection, then you’re going to be in a deadlock. Chances are, the opportunities to do something perfectly will never present themselves (especially for busy moms). Sometimes you just have to be sloppy and keep moving forward. It’s progress you want to go for, not perfection.
- Instead of a workout video for an hour, just go for a walk in the neighborhood.
- Instead of scrubbing the entire bathroom, just wipe off the counters and toilet.
- Instead of playing a board game for an hour, just play a game of tag for ten minutes.
We always want the picture perfect image of being a mom—house in order, meals from scratch, joyful family time every evening. Guess what? You CAN have all of that and MUCH MORE if you learn to do a little bit of sloppy work all the time instead of waiting for the window of perfection to open. Your home may not be squeaky clean, but you can certainly spend fifteen minutes and straighten up. Your meals may not be from scratch, but you can choose recipes that are quick and easy and use some convenient shortcuts. You can have a fun and happy family when you learn to do a little here and there instead of waiting until you can do a lot.
I once heard a quote that goes, “Ordinary events done consistently over time produce extraordinary results.” Do you want an extraordinary life? Then quit waiting around for it to magically happen. Use the little minutes, the pockets of time, the tiny efforts here and there. Do it long enough and consistently enough, and you know what—you’re going to wake up one day to your extraordinary life. And it was YOU who created it!