The Forgotten ‘B': Better

I’m a big fan of writing things down. I don’t know if it’s ADHD or early stage dementia (although at age 55, I’m not sure how ‘early’ that would be) or what, but if I don’t write things down, I forget them.

This isn’t really a problem except that I keep forgetting to check my lists for things I wrote down! Maybe I need a tatto that says, “Check your list!”

While watching the Olympics over the weekend, I began to get the twitchy eye (but not pink eye!) from all the emphasis on being the BEST.

I get that the Olympics are all about competition, that these athletes have trained hard for the opportunity to be deemed the best. I get that they’re disappointed when they don’t win. I would be, too, and in fact, I’m disappointed for them when they don’t see their goal realized. I’m also in awe of their efforts.

Anyway, somewhere in the weekend barrage of best-ness, I remembered a ‘B’ word I meant to include in my last Alphabet Soup, and that word is better.

For many of us, the weight loss trail is littered with plans that failed because we got frustrated or demotivated by slip-ups or because we didn’t lose an amount that we felt we should. Or any other real or imagined less-than-best result.

::pause to consider that I might be the only one to whom this happened::

Nah, surely not. Not in this best-obsessed world we live in.

When I was on my downward weight spiral (finally!), a phrase that helped me A LOT was one I learned in my professional life:

Don’t let BEST get in the way of BETTER!

I wrote about it way back when, but I think it’s worth a revisit. (Translation: I need to revisit it.) I’ll even save us all the trouble, and paste the relevant entry below:

trophy better

Don’t let best get in the way of better.
Our society rewards excellence and there’s nothing at all wrong with that. Excellence should be recognized and rewarded. But sometimes it seems we’re so focused on Being The Best that we miss the opportunities for small victories and accomplishments along the way. Or worse, we refuse to accept these stair-step improvements as evidence of our progress simply because they’re not The Best.

My former company’s CEO is fond of saying this: “It’s better to reach 80% of a stretch objective than to achieve 100% of an objective that wasn’t particularly challenging.”

I agree. Eliminating bad habits and creating a healthier version of ourselves requires tremendous effort that sometimes seems overwhelming. We need to take pride in the accomplishments we do achieve, even when we aren’t 100% successful every single minute of every single day.

To atone for forgetting better in my B post, it’s my focus word for today. I’ll shoot for the BEST in everything, but I’ll remember to recognize the ways in which it’s BETTER than before.

Wishing you a better day ahead! :)

15 thoughts on “The Forgotten ‘B': Better

  1. For a perfectionist like me, “Better” is usually preceeded by “should have, could have, would have” so it’s not always a good word. I like how you’ve presented it here… know that best isn’t always what will happen and concentrate on all the things that are Better!

    • I had an attack of the coulda-shoulda last week, so I know of what you speak, Helen. After a few minutes of chastising myself, I remembered that it wasn’t really going to accomplish much. :)

  2. I love this – and you are so right, we need to give ourselves credit/acknowledgement when we do something better than before. Holds very true in the dieting world…”yes, I ate XXX but in the old days I would have also eaten YYY plus ZZZ, so I’m doing better” – and I mean that!

  3. What a valuable statement. Better is definitely a goal worth aspiring to. It reminds me of a powerful statement from the Temple Grandin movie. (In case you didn’t see it, she was an autistic woman who ended up getting a Ph.D. and doing amazing things). Her mother always said she was “different, not less.” Yes, we are all different sizes, in all stages of weight loss and fitness. We are all different, but no one is worth less :)

      • I shouldn’t have used the past tense, she’s still living. Anyway, she’s written a book and there’s a movie starring Claire Danes. Her story is so inspiring. Well worth a read or watch!

  4. So I’ll be the oddball and comment on making lists. I almost always make a grocery list which I unintentionally leave at home about 60% of the time. BUT, it seems the act of writing it down is very helpful in remembering what I need to buy.

    Today I had 12 items on my list (which I left at home) and remembered 11 of them without the list. The 12th one could wait anyway. :)

    • LOL I did the same thing with my grocery list yesterday! Because I’d written it out, I could visualize the items I’d listed. I missed only one thing and, like you, it was something that could easily go on next week’s list.

  5. Better is one of my favorite words…which is why it is part of my blog name. One of my main goals is to be a “better” me. This isn’t just with weight or physical appearance but in all ways. I wanted to always strive to be a better me. Still me, but a better me.

  6. This is very good advice for a wanna be perfectionist, I got the box of olives I won from your giveaway. Oh my goodness are they wonderful! Thank you so much.

  7. Pingback: Friday Favorites: Flying away to Florida! | A Little More Each Day

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