Posted on August 17, 2018
As with many of my Blogs, it is borne out of a series of recent conversations that seem to present a theme. Of late, a few people have commented to me about either personal experience or that of a friend or colleague where, with the constant forward view, they have not realised the steps that they have made forward.
Life today is very much about progress, taking big steps forward, identifying your goals and striking out towards them. Many people make statements such as “Reach for the stars and the sky will be yours” or “Set your goals and seek them with singular focus”. I concur with all these thoughts and the positive thinking fraternity. Setting goals and then determining the path to achieving them is a fundamental premise for success and progression. There is a lot of information and support on the internet and from widely advertised motivational speakers on how to do this, how to set the goals, how to set out a strategy to achieve them, and how to identify where the goals go once you have achieved them. One line that really resonated is:
“When you have decided on your goal, but seem to be getting no closer, change the route, but not the goal!”
I get that.
However, looking forward, as good as it is, misses one essential aspect and that is identifying the distance we have come. So, why else should we occasionally look back?
Looking back and seeing your start point gives you a perspective on how many steps forward you have taken. You can see the start point and know that you are no longer there. Seeing the steps that you have taken can serve to confirm that you are moving in a direction towards your goal and create a renewed energy to continue your forward drive. Looking back can also help you to reaffirm your intent by reminding you of where you were, the pain that initiated the desire to create change and further reinforce your desire and drive that are the fuels for your motivation towards your goal. Finally, looking back should serve to make you aware of your progress and for a moment, reach around and give yourself a pat on the back.
Of late, I have had goals around weight loss and fitness and I am now seeing some great results, feeling better, fitter and running faster. Looking forward can, on occasion, be soul destroying as your goals seem no closer; I would love to run a sub 8 minute mile over five miles, but it doesn’t seem to be coming closer. However, as I look back, my first goal was to run 5km each of 5 days in the week. That goal has been surpassed, and I am now running 40km+ per week. Speed is developing as the weight comes off, and I am reassessing the achievable.
Whether your goals are around fitness, education, training, salary increases, role development or promotion, the goal is the prime focus, GIVEN. However, do, on occasion, take a brief look back, and see how far you have gone. It will spur you on, renew your energy, and drive you further.
Pat yourself on the back and then go for it again people!!