Focusing on progress will get you further than focusing on perfection.

Cindy JobsADHD In The Workplace, Health and Well-Being

Personal growth is about progress, not perfection.” 

— Hal Elrod

The clients that come to me for ADHD coaching are looking for a change. They are not happy with where they are in life; they want to improve things. A more rewarding job. Less stress. More productivity. More time with their families. A greater sense of productivity. The list goes on and on.

Many want to make significant changes RIGHT NOW! Unfortunately, that’s generally not how things work. Real and lasting change takes form via small incremental progress, day after day, until we reach our goals.

We don’t always have 100% control over how things turn out, no matter how well we do our part, so perfection is not always within our control. However, making measurable progress each and every day is. 

Progress: “Forward or onward movement towards a destination.” (I love this!)

Perfection: “Freedom from fault or defect.” (Generally unattainable.)

Measurable progress may look like getting to the gym three days a week, even though you meant to go five. Chances are three times was more than last week. Progress, not perfection.

Measurable progress may mean you lost two pounds when you mean to lose four. Two pounds represents changes in habits that will build future success. Progress, not perfection.

Measurable progress may mean you averaged seven hours of sleep daily this month when you intended to get eight. Chances are, last month’s average was five. Progress, not perfection.

Measurable progress may mean that you spent five hours learning what DIDN’T work with a project. That’s learning, which is progress. Progress, not perfection.

Measurable progress may mean you only pick up take-out three days a week, not five. Progress, not perfection.

Progress means you’ve likely changed a habit or routine or stretched yourself outside your comfort zone. Congrats!

If that’s the case, celebrate! Tell someone about your progress, share your good news, and build on your momentum. Remember what you did to get there and use that knowledge to get there again, or even go further.

Why celebrate? According to this INC article (which primarily focuses on business, but the theory holds for personal accomplishments), celebrating is good for us on many levels.

  1. The act of celebrating changes your physiology and strengthens your psychology.
  2. Celebrating with colleagues and business partners tightens your network.
  3. Your celebrations position you correctly as a winner and attract more success.

So, celebrate your progress. It’s good for you!


Cindy Jobs, PCAC, ACC

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