Practice Makes Permanent!

by Nicolle Block, AMLI Residential, AATC's President-Elect

Practice Makes Permanent!

I thought that it would be timely to bring this up because of our New Year’s Resolutions!  Remember those?  How are you doing with keeping up with the resolutions you committed to just last month?  Maybe you are the type of person that says, “I don’t make resolutions because I won’t keep them anyway?”  Or maybe you fall somewhere in between?

Why does society seem to struggle with resolutions?  I am sure that we all have an opinion on this, but it made me think of one of my least favorite cliché phrases… “Practice Makes Perfect!”  Think about what you are saying.  If I practice, I will be perfect.  What if you are practicing the incorrect way of doing something?  Will you ever reach perfection?  The answer is NO.  The reality is, being Perfect overall is an unattainable goal.  We all have a tendency to give up faster when we feel that a goal is unattainable.  Am I sharing this with you to bring you down? Quite the contrary…  I want you to understand that your true contributions start with your daily habits.  Think of what you do each and every day.  Is it bringing you closer to or further away from your goals?  Really, think about it.  Are you just going through the motions, or are you making choices and living with intention?

It is our habits that we are practicing each day?  Good habits or bad habits, they have the same result.  If you have processes in place that bring you closer to your goal, then you will eventually get there.  Your actions are a result of your habits and what you practice reinforces those habits.  So reframe that old cliché and start a new mantra…”Practice Makes Permanent!”  What you practice is what you become – no more, no less!  We are not striving for perfection, rather a better version of what we previously were.

Maybe we rethink that resolution.  Was it too lofty of a goal?  Could you break it into smaller, more realistic goals?  Try setting a monthly goal and identify behaviors to model in order to achieve it.  Putting any goal into bite-size pieces makes it easier to swallow!  This can be applied personally and professionally to all of our lives.

As Antoine De Saint-Exupery said, “A Goal without a plan is just a Wish.”

Set Goals, live with intention, and remember that Practice makes Permanent, not Perfect!