Many of us wait for the “perfect time” with our health, nutrition, and fitness. But this all-or-nothing thinking — as in, “If I don’t do this perfectly then it’s awful!” — rarely gets us “all.” It usually gets us “nothing.”
Are you waiting for the “perfect time” to start eating better, or exercising, or finally getting in shape?
Are you putting off that dream trip, or a new project, or that skill you’ve been meaning to learn?
If so, some of these phrases may sound familiar:
When I get a different job.
When things are less busy.
When I find a workout partner.
When I find the right equipment.
When I feel less awkward in the gym.
When I lose 20 lbs.
When I get the right workout routine.
When my fridge is full of the right foods.
Tomorrow. Next week. Never.
Human beings are always “waiting for the perfect time.” But why?
For many, it’s a great distraction and justification. It helps us avoid the real—and risky—work of doing.
For others, perfectionism and avoidance serve as strong armor against potential embarrassment, criticism, and failure.
“I could ___ but ___” keeps us safe from pain.
Unfortunately, it’s also what keeps us from growing, thriving, and being who we know we have the potential to be.
That’s why all-or-nothing thinking—If I don’t do this perfectly then it’s worthless—rarely gets us “all.”
It usually gets us “nothing.”
There is no perfect time. There never will be.
Oh sure, there might be some magic moment in your fitness journey where the universe comes together… and you’re wearing your favorite t-shirt… plus your extra-comfy sneakers… and that song you love comes on… and your body is full of exuberant, bubbling energy… and your favorite piece of gym equipment is free (in fact the gym is empty today, hooray!)… and you bang out a set of ten reps like the angels are hoisting the barbell for you.
But that magic moment will be one in the zillion other less-magic moments that make up your real life.
Indeed, if we are talking about a moment as, say, approximately ten seconds long, that means you have somewhere between 2,398,377,600 to 2,556,165,600 potential moments in your life.
Which means that a single perfect moment is, well, a very very very small part of the whole thing.
Yes, celebrate that perfect moment when it comes. But sure as heck don’t wait for it.
Take your moments. Make your moments.
Just so you know, nobody is going to give you any moments. You have to take moments.
Hunt them. Chase them. Make them happen.
Scratch and gouge moments out of other times. Chip off tiny flakes of moments from the monolith of your day. Use your teeth if you must—bite off mouthfuls of those moments.
You are holding the chisel and the pickaxe. You are the miner of your moments.
This frustrates us, of course.
It shouldn’t be this way, we think. Everyone else’s moments just… come to them. Everyone else has enough time. Enough money. Enough motivation. Enough information.
But it is this way. For everyone.
This is how it is, with moments. Moments resist expectations like water resists the intrusion of oil.
However, there is a perfect moment. There is actually always a perfect moment.
That perfect moment is now.
Here. Today. The living, breathing sliver of time that you have in this precise second.
Because that is all you ever have: right now.