Stop Being so Hard on Yourself


Ryan Day Coaching

How many times have you given up on a health goal because you fell off the wagon one day or one meal?

You know what I’m talking about.

You decide to have a “cheat meal” which turns into a “cheat day” which turns into you giving up completely because you “screwed up”.

You feel guilty about one decision, so you throw the baby out with the bath water and you feel like a failure yet again because you didn’t do what you said you were gonna do.


We live in a world where every person you see on the internet puts off an aura of perfection, which makes it seem like you HAVE to be perfect to get the results you want.

That’s bullshit.

First – those people on the internet aren’t perfect. They mess up just like you and me.

Second – how many people truly want to be perfect? Eating an exact amount of calories every day forever, or being 100% consistent with their workouts in perpetuity.

That’s putting yourself in mental prison and a surefire way to set yourself up for a miserable life. And this is coming from somebody who loves fitness & health.

You know what else I love? Cookies, cheeseburgers, fries, and drinking beer with my friends.

Do you think just because I’m the “health guy” I never have these? Absolutely not.

Do you think I don’t have slip-ups where I planned to have a healthy day but end up deciding on a milkshake for dinner instead? Absolutely not (this happened last week, and it was so good).

That doesn’t mean that I decide to not be healthy ever again though.

Perfection is an illusion, and striving for it will only lead to frustration and burnout.

That’s why it’s essential to give yourself grace – to recognize that progress, not perfection, is the key to long-term success and well-being.

Let’s dig in a little deeper on this.

Emphasizing Progress Over Perfection

Instead of fixating on all the things you’re not doing perfectly, focus on the progress you’re making.

Celebrate small victories, whether it’s hitting a new personal best in the gym, making healthier food choices, or simply showing up for yourself consistently. Remember that every step forward, no matter how small, is still progress.

Sustainability Over Strictness

I repeat: striving for 100% consistency with your diet and exercise regimen is a mental prison.

It may seem admirable, but in reality, it’s not sustainable or enjoyable for most people. Life is full of unexpected challenges and obligations that can derail even the best-laid plans.

That’s why aiming for 80% consistency is often the sweet spot for long-term success.

Allowing yourself the flexibility to enjoy occasional indulgences and rest days without guilt can help prevent burnout and keep you on track for the long haul.

Remember – we aren’t trying to be healthy for a finite period of time. We are trying to be healthy for life.

Finding Balance and Joy

Life is about more than just rigid rules and restrictions. Are rules and restrictions necessary sometimes? You bet. But it’s essential to find balance and joy in your health and fitness journey.

That means listening to your body’s cues, honoring your cravings in moderation, and prioritizing activities that bring you happiness and fulfillment.

Remember that health is holistic – it’s not just about what you eat or how often you exercise but also about your mental health and investing in relationships and community.

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Beating yourself up over perceived “failures” or setbacks doesn’t do you any good.

Acknowledge that you made a choice you aren’t thrilled about, and understand why you made that choice. At the end of the day, you’re doing the best you can with the resources and circumstances you have, and that’s more than enough.

And I want to be abundantly clear: This isn’t to say that every time you eat something unhealthy you need to do some reflecting. If you find out last minute that there’s somebody in town you haven’t seen in a while, by all means, go enjoy yourself with that person.

Learning and Growing

Every stumble and setback is an opportunity for growth and learning.

Instead of viewing challenges as failures, see them as valuable lessons that can help you course-correct and move forward with greater resilience and wisdom.

A HUGE part of health is embracing the self-discovery and personal growth that comes along with the journey.

In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single pursuit that will reveal more to you about yourself than when you finally decide to take charge of your health.

And giving yourself grace along the way means letting go of unrealistic expectations and embracing the messy, imperfect, beautiful journey of self-improvement. It’s about being kind to yourself, honoring your progress, and finding joy and fulfillment in the process.

So the next time you find yourself slipping up or falling short of your goals, remember to give yourself grace. You’re human, you’re imperfect, and that’s perfectly okay.