People often say they are striving for progress not perfection.
This represents a misunderstanding of the AA programme.
We aim for perfection. This is our ideal. This idea is echoed throughout the Big Book and throughout Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. There is a sense of absolute letting go and envisioning how God would have us be. This does not include envisioning the character defects God would like us to have, or the thousand ways we will fall short. No, the ideal towards which we are working is perfection.
However, if you aim for perfection all you will get is progress. The notion of 'progress not perfection' suggests acceptance of partial results based on wholehearted action and dissuades the individual from becoming disheartened or from chiding himself for his continued shortcomings.
It is vital that this line not be used, as it almost invariably is, to justify laziness, ineptitude, selfishness, or apathy about one's half-hearted implementation of the AA programme.