Are you a perfectionist? Do you think you must do things 100% perfect all of the time or you shouldn’t even try? Or . . . are you a person who cuts corners, sweeps the dust under the rug and hopes nobody knows? Either one of these extremes can cause us to have big buts.
We either are afraid of doing things imperfectly (so we don’t start or don’t finish them) or we slack off and never seem to get things done because we let ourselves off the hook.
No matter which way you are bent, I offer you one of my favorite terms:
Condition of Satisfaction
I began coaching with Jennifer Loudon in the year 2000 and she turned me on to this phrase. Basically, a Condition of Satisfaction is what you need to happen so you will be satisfied. Pretty simple, huh?
However, asking yourself to define AHEAD OF TIME what your condition of satisfaction will be can often shine a light on places where you are holding unreasonable expectations or no expectations at all.
Here’s what I mean.
Let’s say you decide you’re going to start a new exercise regime. You decide you should go to the gym everyday and work out for one hour. Pretty clear, right? But let’s face it . . . life happens and pretty soon you miss a day.
If you are a perfectionist you may decide to postpone this new commitment until your “schedule gets more freed up.” If you are one who slacks off a bit you may decide a day here and there is better than nothing, so you let yourself off the hook for this new goal.
By setting a Condition of Satisfaction AHEAD OF TIME and making a realistic but firm commitment, you are more likely to get your “butt” there.
You could decide your goal is to get to the gym everyday but your Condition of Satisfaction is that you do this at least five days a week. You’ve lowered the bar a bit but you’ve determined that five days is what you will accept in order to not beat yourself up. You allow for imperfection to be your new perfect.
Or, put another way, you decide you need to be at the gym five days a week and anything less is not making your health a priority. In this case, you’ve set a Condition of Satisfaction that requires you to step up and not drop the ball.
So, turning over a new leaf or starting a new project? What is your Condition of Satisfaction for this new thing you want to do? Do you want to work on it every day? An hour a week? Get one index card completed every weekend? How do you want to play this?
What are some reasonable goals that stretch you toward getting this important thing done but also allows for you to be imperfect.
Cheri is a speaker, trainer, coach and has authored two books. She helps people and organizations break out of old mindsets so they can lead happy, motivated and fired up lives. She blogs to ignite you and help you get unstuck!