I’ve touched on this topic of letting go of perfectionism before and it will probably surface again at some point in the future.

On Instagram the other day, I made the following post:

This pic was taken when I visited Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. Speaking of travel, I love it. It keeps me grounded, and if I’ve gone too long without a new adventure, I feel restless.

I’ve been fortunate enough to cram in a lot of journeys over the years, but you know what?

I didn’t grow up exposed to travel and seeing the world. As a kid, we hardly even ventured out of NJ where I grew up. I actually didn’t even fly until I was 18 years old in college. At the age of twenty, I was invited to Spring Break it in Amsterdam and London. I jumped at that opportunity and that was all it took to get me hooked.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue to nudge those who need to hear it.

Just book a trip to somewhere.

Don’t overthink it. Keep it simple your first trip abroad or anywhere for that matter if you’re traveling outside of your comfort zone.

Far too often, I hear “someday I’ll vist that place or take that perfect trip”. Why set yourself up for disappointment by saying it needs to be perfect?

Travel more and you’ll have some awesome experiences and some that are just ok. But that’s the beauty of stepping in the Wild World.

I’m serious when I say that I’ve spoken to people who postpone travel because they want their first time to Europe or wherever to be like a fairy tale. I’m not trying to be a downer, but no trip I’ve ever taken was perfect. For me, traveling is about experiencing something new and stepping outside of my bubble. I don’t expect travel to be easy and to be pampered. But if that’s what you want out of a travel experience, to each his/her own.

But what does this post have to do with healthy eating and living?

Well, for one thing I’ve heard the same excuse about delaying travel wishes and dreams used when it comes to healthy eating and living.

“I’ll wait until the New Year to start that diet I’ve been reading about.” or “I’ll start exercising more when my schedule gets better and I can go to the gym on X, Y, and Z days.”

We all have the same amount of hours in the day. I’m not trying to say that everyone’s lives are the same for I realize that some of us may have more work cut out for us on a daily basis. What I am trying to elucidate on is that how one chooses to spend those free hours in a given day may be a critical determining factor for success (i.e. achieving one’s goals of exercise, diet, and/or traveling more).

Let’s go back to the traveling example for a minute.

The reason I emphasized the fact that travel was not part of my upbringing is because I was trying to prove that I had to expose myself on my own, in my adult years, to new experiences. If one was not regularly challenged with flying and encountering different cultures at a younger age, it could potentially be more difficult to assimilate and discover a level of comfort while in these unfamiliar moments in later years.

Yes, I was 20 (which is still rather young) for my first international trip, but that is 10 years later than a child who has traveled at age 10 and formed those experiences at a much younger age than myself.

In my example, that first trip left a resounding impression on me. I simply loved being outside of my comfort zone. And while it did take me some years after college to travel again (mostly due to lack of money), at my first able moment, I threw myself into that opportunity more than willingly.

If you’re on the fence about planning that trip, what do you think is keeping you from doing so?

Money? It’s definitely a valid reason to postpone an excursion, as I’ve been there myself. If you really want to see the world however, you’ll make it happen somehow. Start by letting go of that idea of experiencing Paris for the first time in the over-idealized romantic way, and I bet you can still take a trip there and spend less money while still having a blast and experiencing the culture.

Prioritizing is key to achieving one’s goals. If you want to travel more, you must make it a priority. Learn to let go of perfectionist ideals and the notion of a trip to somewhere playing out a certain way.

I personally tell myself that it’s ok if I don’t see everything on a trip because I’ll go back to visit again if I really enjoyed it and missed out on some things. Fear of missing out (FOMO) can be debilitating and prevents one from living in the present moment. Enjoy yourself when you do travel and take in what you can and stop worrying about what you can’t control or what you may not end up experiencing. Trust me…it makes your vacation much more enjoyable and stress-free. And isn’t that a big part of traveling to begin with? To let go, not work, and relax.

The same goes for diet and exercise; if you really want to hit a target or goal, you simply have to carve out more time for it.

Meals don’t always have to be perfect (100% organic or all made at home) to be nutritious for you. If you’re eating poorly and never cooking a single meal at home, taking baby steps and changing one thing at a time is a step in the right direction. And the same idea can be relayed to exercise. If one is sedentary and not incorporating any form of exercise whatsoever into their daily life, a 5-minute easy walk is a great place to start.

Take home message:

Just get started. Begin sooner than later before you realize 10 years have vanished and you’re still daydreaming about the future. Only you can take matters into your own hands and initiate that change.

Change = to explore and see what the world has to offer outside of your own town.

Change = to begin eating a few new vegetables that you’ve never tasted before.

Change = to try a few new exercise machines at the gym that you always see others using.

Just get started; it’s not going to perfect…and that is totally fine!

If There Is No Such Thing as Perfect: Just Get Started was helpful, please share this post with a friend so that they too may learn something from reading it.

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Mike is a holistic nutritionist that helps people feel more optimistic about their health and wellness through changes in diet and lifestyle shifts.

He has authored posts and articles featured on MarthaStewart.com, today.com, and iVillage.com.