Why you need a sense of progress in your life each day

Welcome to 2018. Some may still be enjoying a break from work. Others, like me, are back at work after a few weeks off. Over the past week I have taken some time to reflect, review and reset. I have reflected on the highs and lows of last year. 2017 was a great year for me in business and in life. I have much for which to be grateful. Many of the goals I set last year were fulfilled or at least there was considerable progress. The only area in which I went backwards was my health and fitness. My personal trainer left for an extended holiday mid year, and I allowed my fitness regime to lapse. Consequently I put on a few kilograms and am not nearly as fit as I want to be. I have also been missing the stress relief benefits of a good fitness regime.

Goal-setting helps you measure progress in your life

One of the benefits of setting goals across your life is to set some criteria to monitor your progress. Can you imagine playing basketball or netball without any hoops to put the ball through? There would be no way of scoring and knowing who was winning. Motivation for the game would dry up very quickly. Similarly, without clear goals it is hard to know if you are doing well or not, and it is easy to lose focus and motivation.

For example, my health and fitness. In the past week I have reset my goals for 2018 across my whole life – with special attention to my health and fitness goals. I am just back from my early morning walk as I write this blog. Since I set my new goal to lose 5 kilograms by July and created a plan around how I am going to achieve that goal, I have been much more motivated to get up each morning and do my stretches and go for a one hour walk. I am also adjusting my diet a little. Now I am looking forward to becoming fitter, losing some weight. The real reward will be when I can wear my pants without feeling so tight around my middle.

Some interesting facts about ‘progress’

  1. A sense of progress makes you happy – research shows there is a strong link between making progress on our goals and positive emotions
  2. A sense of progress is good for your mental health – the same research shows how important a sense of progress is to mental health.
  3. A sense of progress feeds your motivation, whereas a sense of being bogged down is frustrating and demotivating.
  4. A sense of progress as you achieve your goals assists with building self-respect which is the foundation of a purposeful life.

How do you know you are making progress across your whole life?

For me setting meaningful goals that help me move forward across my whole life is the best way for me to know if I am making progress in my life. If you have had a bad experience with goal setting, or not found setting goals helpful in your life, then can I encourage you to revisit this important topic.

Some people set goals for their business but not for any other area of their life. It is great to make progress in your work, but often this can be at the expense of well being in other areas of life. If you want to integrate your work with all that is precious in your life and see progress across your whole life, then it is good to set one, two or three goals for each of the following eight key areas of your life, each year:

  1. Business/career – what do you want to achieve in your business life this year?
  2. Wealth creation – does not happen without some goals and a plan.
  3. Health & Fitness –¬†does not happen without some goals and a plan.
  4. Friends & Family – who will you build good relationships with in 2018?
  5. Life partner – goals for your key relationship in life are usually best set together
  6. Personal growth & learning – skills, qualifications and personal growth you want to achieve this year
  7. Fun, leisure & recreation – yes, it is good to set some goals for fun and leisure in your life.
  8. Physical environment – what you want achieved around your house this year

We move towards what we focus on. Carving out some time to think deeply about your life, and set some targets and plans for how you would like to make progress in the year ahead is a great way to stretch and grow in 2018. If you achieve all your goals that is great. If you make progress towards your goals that also is great. Don’t get hung up on what you did not achieve; focus on your progress. Without any goals you could go backwards like me with my health and fitness last year.

My desire for you in 2018 is that you discover the joy of moving towards the picture of a better future you create inside your head. As you do, you will become much more fulfilled in life and have a greater sense of well-being. We all have the power to do this. If you need any assistance please hit reply and we can make a time to have a conversation.