Monday, May 27, 2019

You Have to Have Patience in Progress

My main source of motivation is seeing progress. I don't think I'm alone with that. Progress is addicting. Looking back at what we've accomplished makes us feel good.  Having someone tell us that we've come far, or point out to us all of our little victories is pretty powerful. But being able to see the progress isn't always easy. We need to start by looking at the little wins in our training, in our goals, and in our life in general.

Progress only happens when we are committed to trying.  But the cool thing about it is that when you're working on your goal and you get even just one small thing done, or get one step closer to your goal, your brain releases dopamine to reward you and you feel that addictive feeling of progress that keeps you moving forward.

Maybe that's one reason that running on the treadmill is so much harder than running outside. While I'm running outside I can see and feel the progress in my run from the scenery around me. But on a treadmill, I run 3 miles but never move and the scenery never changes. So mentally the treadmill isn't as rewarding as an outside run.

The hardest part of all of this is that progress takes time. Especially when we are talking big picture goals. We all want to see the progress immediately but progress takes patience. Most people give up early on in the process of reaching their goals because they don't see any progress in the beginning. The progress is there, we just have to look at the small victories along the way.  Even if it's just saying "I finished that workout" or "I didn't walk at all during this run" or  "I made it .25 miles further than last time". Those small victories turn into all the big victories when we keep going.

Make smaller goals that will lead you to your big goal. I heard a poem the other day called Melinda Mae, you can read the whole poem HERE, but it's about this little girl who made a goal to eat a whole whale. No one believed she could do it but she took one bite a day and she finished it when she was an old lady. It may have taken her most of her life to get to that big goal, but all the days she took one bite and met that one smaller goal, led her to her big goal and she did finish it. When we make smaller goals it helps us see that progress a little easier and gives us the drive and motivation to be patient in progress and keep moving forward.

And don't forget to enjoy the process to progress either. You have to enjoy the journey or the results won't matter nearly as much, and your progress won't be nearly as rewarding. Find the things in your journey that you're loving, that have made you happier, stronger, and better, and remind yourself of those things every time you start feeling down.  Every time my alarm goes off and I wonder why I want to do this, I remind myself that I am making the choice to get up and run. And I chose to do that for a reason, I really do enjoy running and what it gives me. I also love seeing the progress that I've been working for. So it makes getting up and running much easier.

Progress really is addicting, in a good way, but it doesn't happen overnight. Progress takes time, and progress takes patience!

What goals are you currently working towards?

What little victories are you celebrating right now?


  1. I love this post! It is so true that it is easiest to stay motivated when we see progress. For me, lack of progress can sometimes lead to a feeling of "what's the point?" Right now, I just started a home-based business and am working on expanding my social media presence and building a customer base. My ultimate goal is to be able to stay home with my son and future babies.

    This is something WAY outside my comfort zone and I am reminding myself every day that the difference between success and permanent failure is not giving up. I know I will have a lot of missteps and failures, but I know if I keep going and working hard, I will ultimately succeed.

    I am keeping myself motivated by writing down the steps I'm taking every day to work towards my goal to remind myself that even if I can't see progress yet, I'm putting in the work and know it will pay off eventually. Thanks for the dose of motivation!

    1. I love this! Yes, I am the same way when I don't see progress. Why am I working for this if I'm not getting anywhere with it? I've felt that in a lot of different ways and I love that you're helping yourself keep track of progress by writing down things you're doing to keep things moving. That's a great way to remind yourself that progress is progress no matter how small. I hope you get your dream! That's what I've been working on too. Keep at it, it will come!