Taking steps to progress

Practice makes progress, not perfection. If we aim for perfection, we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others. Picture: Supplied

The objectives of progress aren’t realised until time passes.

Setting an intention to change or

transition to a new way of operating is only one piece of the puzzle.

Practice makes progress, not perfection. If we aim for perfection, we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others.

While some progress feels like two steps forward and one step back, it is essential to realise this is normal.

It is in those moments of uncertainty and challenge where the lessons lie.

I’ve shared much of my sister’s mental health journey on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to a degree.

I’ve also written blogs about mental health.

While I wasn’t initially forthcoming about who I was supporting, it naturally unravelled.

For my sister, at times, it feels like two steps forward and ten steps backwards as she has battled the challenges presented to her by her mental health.

It has been heartbreaking to walk by her side and not be able to take her pain away.

However, every 1 percent of progress she has made has amounted to significant success for her in her life journey.

While a mental health crisis is not an ideal way to learn and understand yourself, it has given her the time to heal.

When I reflect on her journey and the unravelling I secretly supported from December 2022, it was only when the containment was no longer possible that it aired publicly in April this year.

My sister’s progress is astronomical, but it has been through her hard work and determination that she has made it this far.

If we consider Carly of December 2022 compared to Carly of July 2023, the actions required to achieve the transition she has undertaken appear overwhelming.

But it has been her daily, hourly and minute-by-minute progress that has amounted to her success.

And while she is not out of the woods yet, her progress is inspiring.

Consistency is key, coupled with determination and a desire to change your current circumstances and learn what life teaches you.

On a lighter note, I liken the benefits and effects of consistently progressing forward to a transition I’ve decided to undertake.

With two back surgeries in 2022 and many flare-ups that have caused me to lose the ability to walk temporarily, I have taken steps to set myself up for success and resume physical activity consistently.

Lifting heavy weights, running for miles or even competing in cross-fit style competitions are never going to be activities that I can undertake, and I am ok with that.

I know the limitations of my condition and body, yet I also know I need to take action to maintain health, fitness and well-being.

To start this new focus on physical activity being a priority, I timed the commencement of my focus on progress to align with the Scout camp I attended in Samford from 29 June 23 to 4 July 23.

I knew I’d be on my feet from dawn to dusk, so I began counting my steps.

While I always had the ability, thanks to my watch and phone, office-based work paints an ugly picture of a lack of mobility across a day.

With 15,000 – 20,000 steps walked each day on the six day Scout camp, the progress began.

The return home was set up for success and maintenance, too, with the purchase of a seated exercise bike with a backrest.

Once again, tailoring my needs to my physical capability was at the front of my mind.

That and the fact that if you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll find a way.

So when I’m told bikes aren’t great for me because of the seating position, I find a way to make the bike work because it is something I immensely enjoy.

A backrest bike and the pool are the best places for me, as my fantastic General Practitioner and an Exercise Physiologist recommended.

While I am not out to be a swimsuit model or lose tonnes of weight, daily progress will help me achieve my fitness, health and well-being objectives.

If you start today, imagine where you’ll be in six months.

If you don’t start, you’ll be in the same place you are now and that might be a scary though.

Sometimes we all need reminding of this, and I would hate for a crisis to come along and force this upon me, like it did to my sister.