Does Practice Truly Make Perfect?

Undoubtedly, ‘practice makes perfect’ is an expression we’re all familiar with. Tasks such as rehearsing music, preparing a big business presentation or trying to nail a handstand are all relatively short term in the grand scheme of things. However they all take time, patience and precision to achieve the desired end result.

Let’s look at the bigger picture of general lifestyle practice and a few factors that build this profile – daily routine, nutritional habits, movement patterns, stressful situations. Lifestyle practice is 24/7 so it’s fair to say it’s a pretty big deal. Of course there are things that cause negativity in our lives which are beyond our control, but ultimately we hold the key to the outcome of our future and we must take advantage of this.

Take a sedentary lifestyle – The body remains in a predominantly flexed position for countless hours per day. This is a total disaster for multiple parts of the body leading to muscular imbalance, joint misalignment, pain in the back, neck, hips, knees and shoulders, making the body extremely vulnerable towards injury. Unfortunately sitting in a chair is a major part of the day for a lot of us, however luckily I made the choice of leaping out of mine a few years back to enter a more mobile world and the benefits are obvious. So unless you’re implementing corrective measures to help counteract these imbalances, your body won’t know any different therefore hindering its growth and potential.

How about daily nutritional habits – timing of food, quality of nutritional profile, portion size, macronutrient balance to name a few. If practiced without thought or purpose, the results will obviously reflect the practice. How about the hormonal affects of food and the determining factors associated with food choice? Ignoring this element could have a recurring negative impact on your energy levels and therefore potentially affecting future food choices, health and wellbeing. By taking measures to improve these habits will keep the body in check and help maintain balance on the whole.

A few years back I got in to mixed martial arts and my instructor used to have a saying, which I hadn’t heard before – ‘Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect’. I remind myself of this everyday and find it’s a great principle to emphasise when working with clients. Whatever the nature of the practice, the outcome can only ever be a reflection. If you go in to your next workout halfhearted with little intent to achieve, or if you don’t plan or at least have some kind of structure to your nutritional habits, the results will mirror.

So take control and make your choices count. It doesn’t matter how small the change but if you can implement a positive one, you’re going in the right direction.