Why Something Is Better Than Nothing
Do you find yourself quitting on your goals?
Maybe you thought you had “messed up” when your plan didn’t go perfectly.
Or maybe you believe that you don’t know the “right” way to get there.
I’m here to share my favorite mantra with you—that “Something is better than Nothing.” As a recovering perfectionist, I find myself returning to this message often.
Doing Something moves us forward. Nothing keeps us stuck.
Our ideals can get in the way of consistent action.
As an example, let’s say you decide that you want to get in better shape. Your plan is to work out three mornings per week. But in week 2, your boss throws an early meeting on the calendar, and you miss your designated workout.
What happens next? You might blame your boss for your missed workout. You also might blame yourself for messing up…already. And if you can’t do it “right”, is there any point in doing it at all?
So you skip the next workout. You’ll start over next week.
But you don’t start over. You return to Nothing instead of Something.
We let our ideals get in the way of consistent action, believing that our small imperfect actions do not count.
But what if that small, imperfect action had the power to move us forward?
These seemingly insignificant, Not Enough-type efforts are the key to sustainable change. They are the building blocks for success.
I remember adopting the “Something is better than nothing” principle as a new mom. Oddly enough, during that same time I was able to complete my first full pushup!
I shared this personal story with a client who also wished to complete a full pushup.
I was working to return to my pre-pregnancy levels of fitness. In those first, unpredictable days of early motherhood, there (many) days when I would miss out on my exercise goals.
Then one night, after putting the baby to bed, it dawned on me that I had some time to move right now. I was sitting on the hallway floor, outside of the nursery. I usually stayed there for 10-15 minutes each night, listening to my infant’s little sounds as he drifted off to sleep.
That was the beginning of the path to full pushups. In the hallway, I started with assisted pushups on my knees. I graduated to high plank holds, finally arriving at a full pushup. First just one, then to sets.
Those few minutes in the hallway each night became my designated time for floorwork—pushups, sit-ups, and stretching. Something was better than Nothing. Over time, my hallway exercises delivered powerful results.
It would have been easy to skip another day of exercise, telling myself that 15 minutes wasn’t long enough to get any “real work” done. Or that it was too late in the day to start. I could have postponed exercise until tomorrow.
But I would have returned to Nothing.
The truth is that small, consistent actions create sustainable effort. And sustainable effort delivers those BIG changes that we desire.
We are much more likely to stay on track when we are kind to ourselves. Doing Something feels within reach and creates the potential for growth. Returning to Nothing dashes hope.
There is freedom and peace in knowing that our small efforts are enough. Our path will unfold in the right way, at the right time. When we doubt that the process is working, we can also trust ourselves in our future choices toward our goal.
By showing up for ourselves, even in ways that may seem pointless, we are building self-trust and confidence. We become the woman who follows through on her plan, even when that plan is imperfect.
We can thrive in imperfect action.
What are you yearning for in your life?
What small, consistent actions will you take toward living it?
Be curious, get creative, and get going.
I’m on the journey with you, one small step at a time.
PS.- Are you in small, consistent action? What have you committed to?
Comment to share it. And if you are looking for help in getting into action, message me. We can talk about what’s possible for you.