Progress takes time and effort, and you will not see results overnight without putting the work in. You can measure progress in whatever you do by seeing if you are starting to get a little better in whatever area you are applying yourself to. If you are taking practice tests and you notice your score keeps going up, if you can swim further and faster than before while being timed, and if you are able to save more money each month than you had the previous one.
Progress is not linear in terms of growth, and it will not happen all at once. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are having more good days than bad days. You need to see if you are progressing a little bit each day or if you are at least progressing most of the time when you measure yourself. There will be days or times when no progress is being made and that’s alright. However, how you react to that and how you work to exceed your expectations next time can make all the difference. Setbacks and lack of progress are going to happen when you are striving to be better or to do better. You must persevere and not let it get to you mentally.
What you want to avoid is to ‘throw in the towel’ and to give up without doing your absolute best and pushing yourself to the limit. If you work as hard as you can as often as you can, progress is more likely to be made on that day, that week, that month, or even that year. It’s not bad to take a day or so off to give yourself a break if needed but don’t let that break become permanent or don’t throw your hopes and dreams away because something is hard. When something is hard to do, that should push you even more because you are testing the limits of what you are capable of.
There is no greater thrill than being able to usurp everybody’s expectations that they set for you including your own. The thrill of achieving or accomplishing something that you thought was previously impossible and so did everyone else. It’s important to keep in mind that kind of achievement takes days, weeks, months, or even years to accomplish so you should be consistently measuring your progress and your setbacks. If you are consistently getting a bit better each day and doing so more often than being stagnant or getting worse, you are that much closer to achieving your goal(s). The key to achieving anything is both progress and consistency because they go hand in hand with each other.
For example, if you are running to train for a marathon, there will be days where you can run 10 miles and some days where you’ll run 5 or 15 miles. The key to keep in mind is that you are running most days or even every day to train on a consistent basis. You should be striving to go from 5 to 10 to 15 to eventually 26.2 miles in a full marathon pace to train at that level to be fully ready for the race. What you want to avoid in this scenario is running less miles as you get closer to race day or running less miles over time. You want to be building consistent habits and practices to be truly ready for this kind of accomplishment.
An impressive goal like running a marathon is an excellent way to show just how key consistency can lead to progress but it’s also about setting goals such as reaching a new number of miles each week for training purposes. If you go in a training like this case from 5 miles to 25 miles in a few months to train for the race six days a week, you’ll be much more likely to reach that goal of running a full marathon. You’ll ensure that you are as ready as can be when you step to the start line on that race day because you became a little better each day.
The key is to go from 0 to 26.2 miles during that training and not 26.2 miles to 0 miles ran. There is a clear distinction there on how to get a little better each day and that involves both consistent progress each day and knowing how to measure yourself in terms of that progress with the amount of running you do to train. Getting better at anything in life is like running a marathon in that you won’t achieve it overnight, it takes consistency at a high level, and you have to set measurable goals to show that your progress is sustainable so that you are ready to claim that achievement.
Life is a marathon in itself so make sure you count the days you made progress in your goal(s), note how you can get better, be consistent about what you want to achieve, how you’re going to do it, why it’s important to you, and you’ll be well on your way to being successful. Getting a little better each day is what I hope for all of us in whatever we set our minds and our hearts to. Be sure to treat life as a marathon and not as a sprint, and you’ll be on the right track.