As someone who’s somewhat of a perfectionist, I’ll be the first to admit that I can sometimes suffer from “paralysis from analysis”. In other words, when I have to do something, I can spend too much time figuring things out to the minutest detail and making sure everything is just right before actually getting started.
It’s something I consciously have to guard against, because I know it’s a trait that can sometimes do more harm than good. More often than not, the best course of action is just getting started, and correcting things as you go.
I read a great quote once by Theodore Roosevelt:
It’s so true. If waiting for the right time means you’re going to be doing nothing (in a practical sense I mean – thinking and planning don’t count), then it’s not the right thing to do.
Now, I’m sure you can probably think of many cases where you absolutely have to have everything perfectly right and well-prepared before starting something. For example, launching a space shuttle, performing surgery, building a skyscraper, and so on.
The thing is, in these situations there’s no margin for error, since any mistake can be catastrophic. Weight loss and fitness is different. Getting a diet or a weight loss program wrong isn’t the end of the world, it just means you get sub-optimal results, or worst case, get no results.
Big deal! At least you will have learned something.
Here’s the thing . . . at the end of the day, more often than not, starting on a sub-optimal program today will get you to your goals far quicker than waiting for the perfect program and starting that six months from now, or a year from now. The progress you will have made over that time will far outweigh any other benefits.
But the truth is, there really is no perfect program, since we’re all individuals. So if that’s what you’re searching for, you will never start.
No matter what you do and how much thought and planning you put into something, there will always be room for improvements. And the only way you can make those improvements is by trying something, checking your results, changing it, re-checking the results, and so on – another reason to start right away.
The quest for that perfect diet or perfect program is futile . . . it doesn’t exist. The only thing that’s real is progress. That’s the only thing you should strive for. And of course, progress can’t exist until you start.
When I think back to Gloria’s workout and nutrition program when she started training for competition over 2 years ago, it was very crude and simplistic compared to her current one. Now her program is many times better, there’s a lot of research and science behind it and it utilizes numerous strategies for maximizing its effectiveness.
But you know what? For as basic, and even flawed, as her original program was, she still made a lot of progress with it. Had she waited for us to find or figure out a much more effective program before starting, she wouldn’t have progressed as far as she has.
She just got started, and we learned and made improvements as we went. We continue to make improvements, and a year from now her program will be even more advanced and effective than it is today. That’s progress.
When I look at experts or successful people in any field, they’re not geniuses or necessarily gifted in any way. They don’t have secrets that no one else knows. They’re just people who started at lower ranks and gradually progressed to where they are. They got there by just doing it.
So if there is any secret to reaching a particular goal or goals, it’s to just get started. Nothing else you do will be more beneficial.
Put aside your fear of getting it wrong, your fear of failure, and your fear of the unknown. Just start. Once you’re doing it, you’ll be forced to learn the way, and you’ll learn far more quickly and effectively than you would by thinking, planning and reading about it.
Just Do it!