Business Advice, Mental health & wellbeing

Should you be striving for perfection? Jillian Michaels shares the value of “good enough”

Martin Kovacs /

The quest for perfection can be all-encompassing, so it’s worth asking not only whether this success is achievable, but also whether it is worth it.

It is also worth noting that perfection is in the eye of the beholder, and one person’s perspective may be significantly different from the next person’s. It is impossible to please everybody all of the time.

At Thrive Global, fitness guru and wellness entrepreneur Jillian Michaels writes that one of the more common questions she gets asked is: “how do you do it all?”

“It’s true that I am a mum, a partner, a friend, a businesswoman, and my health is pretty solid, but it’s critical to mention that while I do it all, I certainly don’t do it perfectly,” Michaels writes.

Michaels points to her need to balance both her own priorities and those of her family, writing that while she is not doing it all perfectly “it seems to be good enough”.

“So, if there was one tip I could give on that balancing act, it would be appreciating that it’s okay to lose your balance,” she writes.

Dismissing the idea of perfection, there is, Michaels writes, “such a thing as good enough”.

The 12-hour rule

Michaels points to “mummy martyr mentality”, stressing the necessity of putting children first until they are old and capable enough to take care of themselves, but noting that it is not a case of all or nothing.

“Remember, you are your kids’ primary role model and caretaker,” she writes. “If you are not healthy and happy, ultimately it will stress them out and take its toll.”

Michaels shares “a golden rule that is malleable enough to work for almost everyone”.

“I call it the 12-hour rule,” she writes. “Put simply, find 12 hours in a week of you time. This is enough for four half-hour workouts in your living room or on the go. It’s enough to squeeze in the necessary doctor’s appointments or beauty appointments over the course of a month. It allows you to have a date night and/or a night out with friends.

“Again, it’s not ideal, but it’s enough to help you maintain your health and the health of your family, as well as everyone’s sanity.”

Of the 168 hours in a week, Michaels apportions 112 as waking hours – noting that taking 12 hours still leaves “100 hours to split between work, family and chores”.

She notes it won’t be perfect and that compromises will need to be made.

“Ultimately, I avoid looking at my day in a vacuum and rather look at my week,” she writes. “How can I balance my schedule to make sure I workout four times, grocery shop, get that check-up at my doctor’s office, etc.

“I spread these events out over the week, and I know that 12 hours a week over the course of a month is ‘good enough.’”

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Martin Kovacs

Martin Kovacs is a journalist with experience covering the IT, consumer electronics, retail, finance and energy sectors.

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