I messed up and that’s ok

Welcome to my weekly Operation Melt update where I share progress updates from my continued fitness journey and the important lessons it is teaching me about life.

I messed up and that’s ok

You may have noticed that I tried some new things and made some changes in last week’s blog. I created new logos and social media content. I tried writing my post incrementally throughout the week and several other things. My goal was to keep things fresh, interesting and engaging, so I can connect my message with the greatest number of goal-chasers.

I like the results conceptually, but I messed up. My post was full of mistakes.

There was a misspelling in my logo. The image quality in my logo was poor. There was a misspelling in the social media post. There were spelling and grammatical issues throughout my blog.

These mistakes were a little embarrassing and I corrected the ones that I could after-the-fact but some couldn’t be changed.

Messing up on this post got me thinking and reflecting on the big lesson I learned from some other mistakes I made throughout my journey.

Not my first mistake, not my last mistake

As I reflect on my full fitness journey to-date it occurs to me that I made numerous mistakes. Plus I am sure that I will continue to make new mistakes.

  • I chose to start exercising with old, unsupportive shoes while weighing over 300 pounds and gave myself shin splints. This was a terribly painful condition that sidelined me for about a week and it was all my fault. (see Week 3: pain has an impact)
  • I have failed on some of my rest days and my nutrition causing unnecessary strain on my body during long runs and heavy workouts.
  • I often over-consume sodium and cause temporary weight gains that take time to work through.
  • I have caused myself unnecessary mental anguish many times by not properly anticipating some issues, not doing my homework, focusing too much on the numbers or not considering how far I have come. (see Shoulding all over my happiness)

These examples just touch on a very small sampling of the mistakes I made through my journey. But this same thing applies throughout other areas of my life too. I have made plenty of mistakes and failed many times in my life.

When I look in my rear-view mirror at my mistakes and failures almost all of them have one key thing in common. Each of my mistakes has taught me something and I was smarter after I made the mistake. In some cases these were lessons I would never have learned in other ways.

Said differently, I have failed forward.

Progress not perfection

The key life lesson learned from these mistakes is the importance of progress instead of perfection. There are countless brilliant thinkers who have discussed this concept and here is just one as an example.

Failure is success in progress.

Albert Einstein

In any activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone or that pushes you to improve, waiting for perfection means that you will never achieve your goal. The only way to learn in many areas is to do.

The proper recipe for success is to start moving and take the risk that you will mess up. The act of messing up is really the act of learning. You are going to make mistakes, so let’s get going and make them as quickly as possible. When mistakes happen embrace the following steps:

  1. Forgive yourself and embrace the mistake as an opportunity
  2. Identify what caused the mistake
  3. Determine the lesson you learned and how to move forward
  4. Try to anticipate and proactively avoid the next mistake
  5. Celebrate the lesson learned

Then repeat until your goal is crushed!

Remember the classic saying: mistakes are proof that you are trying.

Where can you make progress?

Do you have a goal that you want to pursue? What steps would you take towards that goal if you weren’t afraid of failing? Take a step today and stop waiting for perfection. Progress is more important!

I want to hear from you!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s post, your goals or anything else on your mind. Send me a note via my Contact Me form above, on Facebook, on LinkedIn or via Instagram.

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Learn more about how I used project management as a tool for success in my weight loss journey? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.

About Operation Melt

Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform that to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.