During the last couple of month, I experienced a lot of changes. I stopped working out due to my chronic neck pain getting worse, I took a break from studying since we spend a couple of weeks traveling through South America and I started caring less about the things I put into my body - mainly because I got used to (over-)indulging during our trip. At the end, I felt constantly tired, unmotivated and honestly a little depressed.
Don't get me wrong, I loved our vacation and spending time in different parts of South America with my husband (such a special experience!), but once we were back my new found routine didn't make me happy at all. Like most people, if I don't eat right I don't feel good. I get bloated, have trouble sleeping and I'm just not in a great mood. The same goes for exercising: no matter if I do Yoga or lift weights - being active always makes my day and helps me to find balance in my busy life, especially during study session. These were missing from my schedule as well, which was most noticeable once we came back from our trip. I found myself with a lot of spare time, which might be great (and a much needed break) for a couple of days - but not weeks.
I knew something had to change as soon as I realized that I wasn't only gaining a couple of pounds, but also felt sluggish and bad emotionally. Studying wasn't a problem as I started my new quarter about a month after our vacation. I also signed up for a new gym a couple of weeks ago, which is definitely something exciting and terrifying at the same time (I usually only workout in our home-gym). As I talked to one of the trainers about my goals and the changes I want to make in my routine, he looked at me and said "that's a great start! You are definitely going to do well and look perfect in a couple of weeks!".
I was enthusiastic at first about his seemingly encouraging comment, but realized while doing my training session that it bothered me. I didn't want to look perfect - or be perfect - not in the gym, at home, in school, or in any other aspect of my life for that matter. For me, thriving to be perfect means trying to fulfill somebody else's standards. Perfectionism also refers to the fact that we can't have any flaws, which is simply impossible! Setting your standards too high and trying to be perfect will eventually set you up for failure - which was definitely not what I wanted to do.
Instead of trying to be perfect, I want to be the best version of myself and thrive for excellence. This means that I will count on making mistakes and failing every once in a while, which is totally OK and human! We are not made to be perfect - we are made to make mistakes, learn from them and be better as a result. I also don't want to fulfill anybodies standards, as I'm pretty happy with myself and only I know what will really satisfy me at the end of the day.
So, what am I thriving for? Personal satisfaction and self-improvement instead of perfection. I'm looking forward to working hard on achieving my goals, having set-backs, and accomplishing personal bests.