HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE MAKING PROGRESS

There are times when we seem to reach a plateau at some stage in our lives.

If you have been working with the same company for some years or tied up with busy routine and commitments, you may feel that days pass so quickly that you barely remember what you did yesterday, and perhaps feel like you don’t seem to be making much progress. 
 
If you are feeling that. it’s about time to do a stock-take; meaning to do a review of how far your year(s) has gone by to see if you are on track and also to identify what you have achieved or done for yourself.


Here’s what you can do.

  • Take 30 minutes time off for yourself,
  • Sit by yourself with a journal,
  • Jot down your major milestones 12–24 months ago, and your recent daily events.

When you look back at your years, it may feel like a huge task (if you have not done one before), and you may feel like there are not many that you have done.

Start with the smallest details and work from there. For instance, if you still have items from the past laying around your room or desk, it may bring you back to a time you remember, which will link you to certain events.

There may also be events that impacted you that makes the other more positive events your blind spots and there are bound to be a few missed out, but you will always have a chance to fill the gap as you progress in the exercise.

You can also start with some of the major milestones in your life, e,g, your graduation, your wedding, starting a family, your promotion, your travels, etc and work backwards.

In life, many of our major milestones may see like a one-time event, but they are in fact made up of many more little details and daily efforts.

For instance, you may remember your graduation ceremony vividly and that automatically links you back to the times when you burn midnight oils for your exams, the times you spent with your peers preparing for presentations or even how you motivated and encouraged one another in your extra-curricular activities.

If you remember the moment when you clinched that contract for your company, you might also think about the meetings you’ve had with your team, the constant effort and follow-up with your clients, the conflicts you faced along the way and how you managed to overcome them.

If you have married and felt that your relationship with your partner has stablized or felt mundane these days, think about how far you both have come to this day from the day you met each other to the day you said ‘yes’ to each other. Recount the moments, both ups and downs, you both shared that built your bond to this day.

Such events may be in the past, but they rake up memories and strong emotions when you recollect them.

As you fill up the timeline, you might come to realize that you have done or experience more than you think in your normal routine lifestyle. For instance, while handling certain projects, you might have educated yourself on certain systems or languages or knowledge. While starting a family, you might have learned to cook dishes when you have never cooked in the past. While managing your network, you might have learned how to deal with certain difficult people and so on.

Fret not even if these events are less happy or less proud moments. If you have mistakes or failures in your review, there is little need to feel despair or disappointment as this only meant that you have tried but did not work out. If you hadn’t tried out, you would not have known that they would not work or move on to the next action.

The purpose of this exercise is not to boost your ego or deflate it, but rather, to let yourself see how much you have progressed within a certain period of time, as well as to gauge if what you have been doing are in line with what you want for yourself, or are you just chasing the ‘shiny objects’
 
If you have been feeling slow in progress or a lack of achievement in the past year(s), try this exercise out. Spend some 30 minutes doing this exercise and you will be able to recognize how far you have gone and how much you have done to reach one milestone in your life.

At the end of the review, you will also then be able to identify what you have not done, and what you can do better moving forward. Win-Win.

While it’s not always encouraged to look to the past too often, a periodical review of your progress can be a great motivator as well as a good guide to see if you are staying on track of the goals you are pursuing.

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Originally published at l3hub.org.