“Do your best”

We hear this often.

We say this often.

There are a few different types of people when it comes to this.

There are the people who give up early with a sigh and a shrug and say, “I did my best.”

There are the people who are tenacious and work way harder than perhaps they need to not only to meet the goal, but to spit-shine it. (See also: perfectionists.)

(It’s entirely possible that you are one of these types for one thing and the other type for another thing. I am, for sure.)

I guess there are probably also people who just naturally find a balance?

In the realm of health, doing your best to be on track has literally life-changing implications and consequences on a long-term basis. (In the cases of some conditions, it has immediate consequences. Diabetes and allergies come to mind quickly. I’m sure there are others.)

If you’re in the first group—quit too soon—and you want to do better, you could have an accountability buddy and/or do things together with someone else. You could make a plan that is better than what you’re doing now, even if it’s not your ideal. (You can always edit it later, when the first plan is working well.) Or sometimes, you just need to figure out what your baggage is that’s stopping you in the first place. (Sometimes, all the plans mask the problem.)

If you’re in the second group—quit too late—and you want to do better, the same path applies, except your buddy’s job is to help you let it be good enough. (Do you really have to make different foods for different family members every night? Can you exercise for 20 minutes if you don’t have an hour?) Because I’m a card-carrying recovering perfectionist, I can speak to this set more than the other, and I can tell you that figuring out the “why am I doing this?” helps immensely. Because then, when someone else reminds you that you’re overdoing it, you can say, “Oh, right. Thank you.” instead of a defensive “You don’t get it!”

Regardless, keep in mind: your best doesn’t look the same every day. That’s OK. Do your best, if you have a chronic issue (care-taking, work issues, long-term financial issues) to hold on to the essence of yourself, to keep the parts of you that are good. (I realized after several years of chronic stresses that I had lost some pieces of myself that were good. Still working on reinstalling some of those.)

What’s your strategy for this crazy balancing game?


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