Are you the type of person who’s so goal-driven that you forget to acknowledge your progress as you’re heading toward that goal?
It’s okay! This isn’t an indictment. A lot of us focus on achieving a goal without recognizing our success along the way. And yes, as the new year is approaching quickly, you may be considering ways you can better take care of yourself in the coming year.
We’ve got a secret for you though. If you’re only focused on the outcome without pausing to celebrate the progress you’re making, there’s a good chance you’ll experience burnout.
Acknowledge Your Progress to Increase Motivation
Arriving at a milestone like reaching a desired weight, getting a promotion, or even striking a pose in yoga that once seemed impossible feels great, right? Perhaps some sense of pride or fear of being vain kept you from celebrating your success along the way though.
Consider this. When a friend or loved one is trying to reach a goal, do you encourage and congratulate them for any progress they’re making? Of course you do. It helps to keep them motivated.
The same is true for you.
So how do you acknowledge your own progress without being too showy or ostentatious? We have some more subtle suggestions.
1. Play to Your Strengths
It’s been said, “Play to your strengths. They’re your greatest asset.”
And it’s true.
Yet many of us get caught in the weakness trap. We may even self-sabotage by unconsciously setting unrealistic goals that don’t tap into our strengths. Instead, they emphasize our weaknesses. This is another recipe for burnout.
So for example, perhaps you want to write a novel or run a marathon next year. But you’ve always been more of a short story writer or a sprinter because these feel natural to you. This isn’t to say that you can’t or shouldn’t take on that book or 26-mile race. It’s more that when you set out to conquer that goal, consider how you can use your strengths to your advantage.
By playing to your strengths, you’ll have more small victories along the way that will keep you inspired, confident, and motivated.
2. Express Appreciation
Think back to a goal you achieved that made you feel really good about your accomplishment. Chances are there were others that helped you make it happen.
For instance, your sister may have agreed to join you for a walk every afternoon as you worked toward a new fitness goal. Or perhaps your partner logged extra hours helping around the house so you could stay at work late to get that promotion.
Acknowledging your progress includes showing appreciation for those who have helped you along the way. It could be something big like a dinner out or some smaller token of appreciation. Even just a simple, ‘thank you so much’ will remind you of what it took to achieve that goal and how thankful you are for his/her support.
3. Track Your Progress
One of the pitfalls of trying to achieve a goal is not recognizing progress as you’re making it. This makes it very hard to celebrate it!
So consider writing down each little milestone along the way to track your progress. At first, they won’t seem like much. But over time as you look back and see the collective distance you’ve traveled, you’ll feel motivated and encouraged.
It’s those potential small failures that often feel bigger and more deflating than they really are. It’s the successes that will keep you going. So keep track of them so you can actively recognize them.
4. Practice Self-Care
Each of us is a package deal. We consist of mind, body, and spirit. This is at the core of every mindfulness practice on the planet.
If you’re depleted in any one of those parts of yourself, the other parts will suffer. So one of the best ways you can celebrate your progress is by taking time to care for yourself and reflect on your successes up to this point. How can you celebrate in a way that honors all the systems of the body?
First and foremost, take time to rest. We’re not talking about sleep, necessarily. Though getting the proper amount of sleep is key to overall health, you also need rest to reinvigorate your mind and spirit. Activities done in solitude can give you more opportunities to reflect on your success. You could read a book, get a massage, engage in meditation, do something creative, try a new hobby, or simply watch the sunrise or sunset.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Are You Ready for the New Year?
If you’re feeling stressed about the new year, keep in mind that you don’t have to set a goal or resolution. It’s not a requirement!
And if you do set a goal, remember to start with something manageable that allows you to see and acknowledge your progress as you go. It’ll make all the difference.
In the meantime, consider turning over a new leaf this year by trying our onsite or virtual yoga, mindfulness practices, and life coaching services. Contact us today to find out more. And get ready for the best year yet.