page title icon Your Personal Development Journey Doesn’t Need to Be Perfect

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Something has been on my mind, and I decided I needed to do a blog post about it…

It started with thoughts:

Man, should I have had pizza for dinner? It’s not a healthy choice…I’m the creator of a personal development blog after all….shouldn’t I be eating healthy all of the time?

Crap, I didn’t get to my morning routine…am I an imposter?

Do I have any business writing a personal development blog when I drink wine, eat pizza and ice cream, sometimes struggle with a negative mindset, etc…

All of these thoughts have been swirling around in my mind lately, and because of them I’ve been dealing with imposter syndrome. Am I really the best person to lead this personal development blog and brand that I’m trying to grow? 

While I have had consistent morning routines for years…occasionally, I skip them. 

Things are not always perfect at work.

Sometimes, I’m not the best husband or father.

Sometimes I eat like crap.

But here’s the key: I also eat salads most days for lunch…I work out almost every day…I consume positive and inspirational content almost every day…I consistently try to work towards my business goals and become the man I believe I can be.

And so I had a light bulb moment, and hence this blog post…I’m not perfect with my routines and I actually don’t try to be. Rather, I just try to get things right 80% of the time. 

In the personal development space, I know there are a lot of people who will teach that you have to be really militant in your routines. But, I disagree with this, because in my experience I’ve been able to see gains even though I don’t get everything right 100% of the time. I’m certain that it’s because the flexibility enables me to maintain positive habits and routines 80% of the time and this compounds into positive results over time.

I will say, however, that you have to do what works best for you. If militant is the way you need to operate to stay consistent, then go for it.

I’m Not Perfect

If you’ve listened to my podcast, then you’ll know some of my guests have really long and rigid routines…which is great for them! Some of them have two-hour routines, or they pursue major physical feats such as running ultra marathons. For those people, the efforts they are putting in each day are perfect for who they want to become and the goals they want to reach.

But don’t think that needs to be YOUR approach. I wonder how many people read my blog or listen to my podcast and never start down their own personal growth path because they get turned off by how much work they think it will be…or by how many sacrifices they will need to make?

I think parents have an even harder time with this because it’s impossible to be perfect. It’s a lot harder to get up every day for a morning routine when you have young kids that wake you up in the middle of the night. When you have older kids, it can be challenging to make time for your personal development because you’re running them around all over the place.

My brother made a comment about one of my podcast guests having a morning routine that was a lot more relatable. It got me thinking that I should have addressed this topic a long time ago. I thought I had finished my book, but decided to add a chapter about this because, in my opinion, it’s that important. Personal development is not an all-or-nothing game. Aim for 1% improvement every day. And you have to find what works best for you in your current season of life. Lastly, pull out tips and ideas from my blogs and other blogs that resonate with you. 

Aim to Get it Right 80% of the Time

When I’m creating content and giving advice to you, you may think that I’m fully locked and loaded in these areas…but I want you to know that is not the case. Personal growth is a journey that never ends…and you will regularly need to course-correct…and that’s what I love about it.

Most people need to approach personal development with the mindset that they don’t have to be perfect. If you aim to get it right 80% of the time, you will still see progress (at least based on my experience). Especially, if you’re not doing anything right now…if you start to add small habits and routines to your life, it’s almost impossible not to see gains assuming you allow enough time for the compound effect to work its magic and build momentum. 

If you are a parent, you definitely need to be flexible and accept that interruptions are going to happen. Do your best and the efforts you’re putting in will compound over time.

I have three girls, so I’ve found creative ways to invest in my personal development. Like on vacation with them…I use a slimmed-down morning routine…or sometimes my self-education happens in the car when I’m taking my kids to an activity…or busting through 10 minutes of bodyweight exercises because I’m short on time.

The key is trying to keep your routines in place as much as possible, even if it is a tiny version of what you usually do…it helps to cement the habit in place.

And don’t forget to be a role model for your kids with their own personal development and growth. Share lessons with them, have them do gratitude practice, explain meditation, or whatever you like to do. They won’t know how to do these things, or that personal development is even a thing, so it’s up to you to teach them.

Enjoy the Journey

What’s most important in life is to be happy and fulfilled…to become the best version of yourself…and to live a life of impact. That’s the point behind personal development for me…it’s a journey, and as long as I’m enjoying it, it’s worth it. 

Don’t be scared off because you think your journey of growth needs to be perfect…the most important thing is to just start. Today.

Part of my approach to personal development is to do things I enjoy on occasion so I don’t feel deprived.

On the flip side, I do have certain things that I’ve completely cut out of my life. For example, I don’t watch the news because of the negativity the media pushes. I also don’t drink soda – it’s not good for you and I don’t need it. So I don’t drink it.

Seriously, enjoy the journey you’re on – there is so much abundance and simple pleasure around us. And the most important thing is the journey, not the destination…especially because, if you’re interested in personal growth, the destination will just move when you arrive.

Be Easy on Yourself

The bottom line of what I want to express to you is my own personal grief that I’ve felt in the past when I eat poorly or skip my routines. I’ve had the tendency to beat myself up over this, especially because I run Morning Upgrade and feel the need to be a certain person all the time. 

What I learned through my own journey is that you don’t have to be so strict on yourself. You, of course, need to have a certain level of discipline but don’t forget to have fun. Creating such a stringent routine (unless you are the type of person who needs a strict framework) can actually work against you because it creates frustration and makes it harder to sustain your personal growth habits and routines over the long run.

Personal development is an amazing journey that doesn’t have to be perfect. Work on yourself to be 1% better today than you were yesterday, but also be easy on yourself. You can start off casual with your efforts and stay there if you want to.

But I think you’ll find that the more you do, the better you’ll feel and that has a snowball effect where you’ll want to learn more…try more…and optimize more.

And maybe one day you’ll wake up and decide to start a weekly blog…learn how to podcast…write a book…and who knows what else? 😃

Key Takeaways

  • Personal development and growth are important, but your journey doesn’t have to be perfect. 
  • You can start off casual with your routines and build from there. 
  • Be easy on yourself. 
  • Create a life of abundance and fun that you enjoy. 

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