How To Strive For Progress, Not Perfection

‘Strive for progress, not perfection’  is a saying that encourages a powerful shift in mindset.

It focuses on the importance of taking action and making consistent improvement over time, rather than waiting for the perfect time to start, when conditions are all ‘perfect’, or pursuing an unattainable standard of perfection.

Why It’s Important

When we can shift our mindset to focus on making progress, rather than focusing on perfection, we get more done. And we get closer to our goal.

When we strive for perfectionism, or waiting for things to be ‘perfect’ before we take action, it can lead to paralysis, which leads to inaction. 

How to Implement A ‘Strive for Progress, Not Perfection’ Mentality

Shifting to the mindset of ‘progress, not perfection’ may seem daunting at first, but here are three simple and practical steps:

1. Get Started Anyway

Many people are paralyzed by the idea of perfection and end up not starting at all.

However, the key to making progress is to just get started.

Here’s some ideas on how to do it:

    • Eliminate ‘perfect’ conditions: Don’t wait for the perfect moment, perfect mood, or perfect resources to get started. Perfectionists often use these conditions as excuses to delay starting.
    • Use the ‘5-Minute Rule’: If a task seems overwhelming, tell yourself you’ll work on it for just five minutes. Often, starting is the hardest part, and once you’ve begun, you’ll likely continue beyond those initial five minutes.
    • Focus on the process, not the outcome: Instead of worrying about the perfect end result, concentrate on the process. Learn to enjoy and value the journey rather than just the destination.
    • Adopt a growth mindset: Understand that mistakes and setbacks are part of the learning process, not evidence of failure. This can help alleviate the fear of starting.

2. Get The Completion Habit

Getting into the habit of completing tasks is crucial to focusing on progress.

It’s easy to get hung up on making every detail perfect, but the result can be an inability to finish what you’ve started.

To counter this, develop a completion habit. Here’s how:

    • Set small, achievable tasks: Break down your larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. As you complete these tasks, you will get a sense of achievement and it will motivate you to keep going.
    • Embrace imperfections: Understand that it’s okay if the first version isn’t perfect. The key is to finish the task at hand. You can always revise and improve later.
    • Celebrate accomplishments: Celebrate each task you complete, regardless of its size. This reinforces the completion habit and motivates you to continue.

3. Aim For Consistency

Consistency means regularly working towards your goals, even if progress seems slow or minor.

It’s about creating positive habits and routines that gradually lead to substantial improvement over time.

Here’s how to go about it:

    • Establish a routine: Set a specific time each day or week to work on your tasks. This establishes a pattern and helps you get into the mindset of consistency. For example, if you’re writing a book, dedicate a certain period each day for writing – even if it’s 200 words at a time.
    • Track your progress: Use a planner or a tracking app to record your progress. Seeing how far you’ve come can be a powerful motivator to stay consistent.
    • Stay committed: There will be days when you don’t feel like working on your tasks. It’s crucial to stick to your routine even on these days. This is where the true power of consistency is revealed.
    • Celebrate consistency: Each week or month you’ve successfully stuck to your routine is a win. Celebrate these achievements to reinforce your commitment to consistency.


Overall, the mantra ‘strive for progress, not perfection‘ promotes a healthier, more balanced approach to personal development.

It’s about learning to appreciate your journey, valuing growth over perfection, and understanding that the key to lasting success lies in continual improvement, not in an unattainable ideal of perfection.

By embracing this mindset, we get more done, which builds momentum, self-confidence and self-discipline. Which is exactly what we need to keep on our journey towards achieving big goals 🙂

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