Why You Shouldn’t Always Give 100%

There’s a habit in the thinking process that will destroy your best plans to reach your goals.

Yesterday I completed a 12-day detox.  I have (had?) a pretty good addiction to sugary treats and salty snacks and figured that this might be a good way to make better choices. I did a pretty good job but did slip a few times. A few ounces of wine one night, a little bread from a luncheon sandwich because I was “starving,” and some chewy minty candies when I feared I had dog breath and was going to have a doctor inches from my face.

So the detox is done but it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t 100%. But it still counts.

When you have a goal the intention is to go for it 100%. Really commit yourself, right? So, when there’s a small lapse or something is preventing you from forging ahead the way you planned, it seems easy to ditch that effort entirely and start again another time.

And that’s the thinking process that will destroy your best plans to reach your goals. The “all or nothing” mindset. I have to admit that this way of thinking creeps into my brain if I don’t actively work against it.  And it’s not always about a big plan. It can feel like it’s more efficient to stay focused on one project so you delay doing anything on that project until you have enough time. Do these statements sound familiar?

“I don’t have time to make all the sales calls on my task list right now so I’ll do something else this morning and make all the calls this afternoon.”

“I can’t get a good workout in so instead of knocking out a 15 minute walk or some crunches, I’ll just fit it in a full workout later.”

“I don’t have a big enough window of time to get my entire email inbox cleaned out right now so I’ll save that task for when my schedule opens up.”

“I ate a doughnut for breakfast so since the day is shot, I’ll give myself permission to eat junk today and get it out of my system.”

To beat that mindset, instead think of what kind of progress you can make with the time you have available. Who says you have to start every day in the morning? You can start your day over any time of the day!

If you sometimes fall victim to the all or nothing mindset, slow down and actively think about the choices you’re making and see if you can shift your thinking and your priorities so that you can have incremental success. You may end up giving 100%, just not all at one time.

be in charge of where your thoughts go

You may be surprised to know Emotional Intelligence has a pretty big impact on the thinking described here. Want to be more in control of your thoughts and emotions?  Start here.


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