Right now, as I write a draft of this idea on an early September morning, I am training for a half marathon.

That means this morning I need to run.

I should be doing five miles. That is what’s on the schedule, but today I only have time for four. When faced with that dilemma, I am tempted to do what I usually do – run 0.

It’s a classic act of perfectionism. A perfectionist would rather get a 0 than a C-. We’d rather do none than some. But, I’ve learned something over the years when it comes to exercise. Want to know what it is?

“A little is a lot.”

Do I wish I had time today for five miles? I do. That would be awesome. But guess what happens if on 10 different days I run four miles instead? I will have run 40 miles. Guess what happens if I choose to run 0 because things aren’t perfect on 10 different days? I run 0.

Whether it’s ten days in a row or 1,000, when you don’t do anything, the result is always 0.

Perfectionism doesn’t scale.

Over time however, a little is a lot.

Over time, none is always none.

If you only have time to do 15 minutes in the gym today, that’s OK.

If you only have time to walk around the block once today, that’s OK.

If you only have time to run one mile, that’s OK.

A little is a lot.

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