Struggling with Perfectionism

With all the pressure to be the best in our respective environments (school, work, gym, etc.) this quote (below) seems to have a good message: Don’t compare yourself with others, just with who you were yesterday. But my Type-A personality takes this quote to a whole other level…


I have a history with putting pressure on myself. Pressure to get an A on a test, to workout X number of times a week, to eat balanced meals and to be the best version of me. I understand that this quote can be motivating and that many people might not interpret the quote in such an intense or in-depth way. But for me, I’m often my own worse competition.

I’ve had instances when I’ve taken this pressure to another level in order to “beat” yesterday’s me. For example, if I ran 4 miles yesterday, I have to run 5 today. If I got a 90 on a test next time I have to work harder to get a 95. This is an unhealthy cycle and one I’ve gotten trapped in as I tried to reach an unattainable level of perfection.

My Competition- Perfectionism


Even today I had some negative, competitive thoughts as I contemplated how much I wanted to run. Yesterday I ran 4.5 miles so I thought I had to run at least 5 today. But 3 miles into the run I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to stop but my mind was telling me to keep going because I hadn’t even reached yesterday’s mileage. Luckily, I realized how silly it sounded that I was forcing myself to run farther because I had to meet or beat yesterday. I’m not training for anything right now and no one is forcing me to run, so why should I add any pressure? I stopped my run at 3 and called it a day.

I’ve gotten better at recognizing instances of self-competition and have made an effort to reset any “expectations” to a normal level. I hope to reach a point where I can apply this quote to my relationships, attitude and service and not things like grades, exercise or food. I just want to feel content with today and not worry about surpassing tomorrow’s goals.

How do you interpret the quote “be better than you were yesterday?”

Thinking Out Loud

TOL is always one of my favorite link-ups to read. Everyone’s thoughts are very entertaining and reassure me that I’m normal :)

On the writing side, pouring out random, non-cohesive thoughts is very therapeutic. Amanda, you were on to something…

1. I need to introduce you to my favorite person (OK, animal) ever. Meet my dog, Rocco. He is a six-year-old cockapoo (cocker spaniel and poodle mix) who loves tennis balls, my mom and steak. We gave him a big, macho name to make him feel better about looking like a teddy bear.
2. I think I’m the only one in the world I know who doesn’t use Snapchat regularly. I have an account but for some reason I don’t use it and I barely even open other people’s snapchats. I have no explanation for this weirdness. But I feel like I’d like it, so I might force myself to use it. Who says that about social media today?

3. Did you read the New York Post’s blurb about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding? Gave me a good laugh…

4. I need to get better at taking pictures of food. My meals are very tasty but not always pleasing to the eye. Maybe it’s because I pile food on and don’t really care about the placement on the plate? Or that I’m taking the pictures in dark lighting with my iPhone (<– probably the reason). Here’s part of my lunch from today. We’ll use this as a starting point for picture-taking. Only uphill from here, right?!
Lunch 5/28

5. Speaking of lunch, I try to eat outside every day during the workweek. I feel very confined in a cold, quiet office so a little vitamin D midday is the perfect pick-me-up.

6. My feet are not made for high heels. Too many blisters to count.

7. I LOVE seeing the videos of high school seniors opening their college acceptance letters/emails. Even though I never had that dramatic of a moment, it still brings back the sense of accomplishment (and relief!) I felt after opening my acceptance letters.


8. Confession: I still haven’t unpacked from college. It’s been 3 weeks. For some reason by Type-A self isn’t worried about it and I just shut my door and forget the mess exists. Out of sight, out of mind.

9. I just bought a pencil skirt and blouse to add to my rotation of work outfits. In my mind, the price was 1.5 yoga pants.

10. TOL rocks. End of discussion.

Running Playlist May 2014

Need some motivating music for your run?

This has been my current playlist for a while now and it’s just what I need for a little boost during my runs. It’s a random mix of older songs, newer songs, and different genres. Most of these songs have an upbeat, powerful chorus and would be great for sprints/pickups if you have a specific workout planned. Or in my case, they’re great for racing my dad in treadmill sprints ;)

These songs would also work well for an indoor cycling class (I will post one of my Spinning playlists soon).

Listed in no particular order:

Alone Together- Fall Out Boy

Still Into You- Paramore

Live Like a Warrior- Matisyahu

Lucky Strike- Maroon 5

Out Like That- Luke Bryan

4ever- The Veronicas

Shake It- Metro Station

Diamond Eyes- Shinedown

According to You- Orianthi

Neon Lights- Demi Lovato

Crazy in Love- Beyonce


What is your favorite song on your playlist?


I love routine. I kind of live by it. 

As a Type-A person, having a routine keeps me sane. I find comfort in knowing how my day will turn out. During the school year I try to pick classes that mesh well with my routine: Wake up early, exercise, eat breakfast (or breakfast first if I’m not working out), go to class, eat lunch, do homework, have some “me” time (aka a nap or one episode of Grey’s), eat dinner, study (or club meetings), go to bed. Repeat. I have no complaints about my routine. In fact, I love it. But being home for summer and starting a new job has made me reevaluate the emphasis I placed on maintaining a routine. 

I don’t leave much room for spontaneity. If something pops up out of the blue and I can’t prepare for it, I usually don’t participate. Or, I participate unwillingly and end up complaining most of the time. This past year I’ve “loosened up” a little, which sometimes resulted in anxiety (I felt unproductive and mad that my day wasn’t in my control. Oh, control…that’s a whole different post). However, more often than not, the result was positive and I had fun. 

Leave routines behind
I’m a planner by nature but I’m learning that too much of it can have a negative effect socially…even in little instances such as hanging out with friends. For example, last year, if I had planned to go to yoga at a certain time and my friends invited me to go to the beach at the same time, I would have probably said that I’d meet them later. But lately, I’ve started making an effort to readjust (or ignore) my routine and make it adaptable to real life…where things aren’t predictable. 

Sticking to my routine everyday may make me happy in the short term, but making memories with people will bring a lifetime of happiness. If it means skipping yoga to go to the beach with friends, no problem! If it means making late lunch plans because my friend doesn’t get out of class until 2 p.m., then I want to be able to adjust…happily.

Blessed are the flexible
On the other hand, I’m hesitant to say that I’d ever give up maintaining a routine completely. Last week, I did not know what to expect before I started my summer internship and instead of stressing over that, I relied on my routine. I simply readjusted the schedule I’m used to and went into the week without any worries. 

While my routine is good in many aspects, I need to work on loosening up a little. I think this summer with vacation time and work I’ll face scenarios that will challenge my routine, and I need to learn to that that’s OK. Nothing bad will happen if I have a project that keeps me at work until 8 p.m. instead of 6. The sky won’t fall if I don’t get to workout because of an early meeting. 

Instead of always staying in the comfort of my routine, I want to relax and be open to all of the possibilities in life. My goal is basically another tie to living a healthyish life…having a routine with some wiggle room.

Do you follow a routine? Is it hard to break?