Recognize and Celebrate Your Progress

Lately, I’ve been trying to recognize and celebrate my progress — even if it isn’t happening quite as fast as I would like it to happen.

As humans, we are often impatient. We want to see results immediately, and it is discouraging when we feel like we don’t measure up. However, it’s important not to measure against what we hope will be the end result. Instead, it makes more sense to look at where we are as compared to where we were in the past. Recognize that you are making progress, and celebrate that progress.

Discouragement and Quitting

One of the big problems is that we so often measure where we are at right now relative to where we want to be in the future. This is one of my problems as I work to adjust my weight and my health. Sometimes, instead of looking at the progress I’ve made, I focus too much on how far I still have to go.

When you look at it from that angle, it can be disheartening, and it’s tempting to quit. Whether you are trying to pay off debt, live healthier, or learn something new, focusing on how far you have yet to go can slow you down. You wonder why you are trying so hard, and eventually you give up.

While you still need to look ahead to what you hope to accomplish, and strive for certain milestones, don’t forget to look back at how far you’ve come. Compare yourself to your previous self. When I do that, I can see that I’ve made good progress in a lot of areas. I’m taking more time for myself. I’m making eating right and exercise a priority. I’m in a much better place today than I was two years ago.

When I recognize the progress I’ve made, and take a little time to celebrate it, I’m much more motivated to keep moving forward. Looking at things in this positive manner keeps me striving to improve and make better changes. I’m less likely to quit when I have these more positive thoughts to sustain me.

How To Focus on Your Progress

Focusing on your progress requires that you change the way you think about things a little bit. Often, we are our own severest critics. As a result, you need to change the way you view yourself. Create milestones for yourself, and celebrate when you reach them. Make sure these milestones are achievable. You might want them to require you to stretch a little bit, but they shouldn’t be impossible. When you reach a milestone, reward yourself a little bit. It doesn’t have to be a big or expensive reward; it just needs to be something that you enjoy.

Also, make it a point to list the improvements you have made regularly. When you look at the progress you have made, you can give your confidence a boost. Look back at your progress and remind yourself that you are in a better place. Even if you aren’t at your ideal yet, you are working toward it, and you are better than you were before. Focusing on these victories can give you the encouragement to stick with it — and eventually reach your bigger goal.

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.