One of the reasons people give up too soon on their goals and dreams is because it can feel like it’s taking longer than it should to see the expected results.
You could be moving along as fast as possible towards your goal but because you have a big goal, it could feel like it’s taking an eternity to get nowhere!
I am reminded of the story of the “Bamboo Tree”:
For five years after a bamboo seed is planted, it seems like not much is happening. On the surface, only a tiny shoot sprouts from the seed, and it stays like that. Little would you know that an elaborate system is taking root all this time underground, weaving deep within the Earth and creating a complex foundational network. At the end of these five years, the bamboo suddenly starts growing over three feet every day until it is around 100 feet tall—making it seem like the fastest growing plant out there.
No matter what you’re trying to “grow”—be it a professional development goal, a project you’ve been championing, or progress towards a promotion—if you’ve been putting in hard work without seeing any immediate results, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your efforts have been in vain. Just consider the things you have gained along the way, like building an arsenal of relevant skills, expanding your network of contacts, and redefining your priorities for your aspirations. These are the roots that will give you the strength to succeed when you ultimately do reach your goal.
But what do you do, when you HAVE set yourself some goals? When you DO KNOW where you would like to be? Except it feels like nothing is happening.
You cannot see any signs that you are making progress. You feel like you are still at the starting gate, not making progress and your goal seems unreachable?
How do you stay motivated to keep going, to stop telling yourself you should never have tried?
How do you stop your negative talk that deciding to go after a progress was a silly idea?
There are 7 Ways to Stay Motivated As You Make Progress
You notice the small not just the large – We often look for the obvious or the large signs of progress – but what about the small ones? Are you getting up/going to bed earlier? Have you stopped buying that daily coffee to save some money? Are you saying no to invitations that take you away from your goal? Are you eating healthier/exercising more to increase your energy while working towards your goal? Have you reduced your time on social media or watching TV, so you have better focus? These small changes are slowly steering you to where you want to be. Notice them – they are signs of progress.
Your circle is changing – Is your social or professional circle changing? Are you striking up more conversations with people on similar path in life? Do you find yourself being drawn into conversations with people who you feel understand your goals? Talking with others who are willing to talk things through with you? It is one of the reasons many join our Mancave sessions - connecting with people who inspire you on your new path - notice them – they are signs of progress.
You’re willing to modify – As you receive more information, and talk with more people, you are more likely to discover new resources and new ways of hitting your objective. Maybe it is a new piece of technology, or some shared experience from someone who has followed a similar path, or maybe some sound advice from a mentor or coach? Discovering new information helps you to refine how to reach your goal. - Notice them – they are signs of progress.
You are Not giving up – There is probably only one thing harder than progress – it is perseverance. Yes, setbacks dampen your spirit, but usually only momentarily. Often, when you really look at what did not work, you realise that it is an opportunity to learn. You are using setbacks as lessons without even realising it - notice them – they are signs of progress.
You choose who you listen to – When reaching your goal is taking longer than expected, there will be lots of questions, opinions and (unwanted) feedback. When you are focused are reaching your goal, you learn to ignore the comments and simply keep moving and working towards your goal. This may lead you to reassess how much information you tell some people. You start to realise you need to conserve your energy as you continue moving - notice them – they are signs of progress.
You choose to be happy – Knowing where we want to go is better than wondering – working on your goal, creates inner satisfaction. Even though your life circumstances are not as you wish them to be right now, you remain quietly confident there will be a positive result - notice them – they are signs of progress..
You say “#Makeitso” Daily - Despite the setbacks, your focus remains the same. You have set yourself a challenge - be determined to #Makeitso. You have moments when you just get up and you get after it - notice them – they are signs of progress !
Above all, what is important to remember is working towards a goal is a time to be kind to yourself. To give yourself a pat on the back and congratulate yourself. Deciding to make a change is progress. Taking steps toward action or change is progress. Riding the highs and lows of your journey is progress. These are all signs you are indeed making progress towards your goal. Do not just glare at the “big signs”, take hold of the “small ones” too. Notice them – they are signs of progress!
By the way – check out Episode 19 of our Podcast “You Can Make It So” on "What is Progress and Why It is Important, plus 4 reasons you might NOT be making any - go ahead take a listen!