Practice Makes Progress

Since this is the beginning of a New Year, we all get excited about our goals. How can we not? Motivation is high and you’re ready to put in the effort to make it work. It’s easy to visualize what success looks like.

What We Think Success Looks Like

But many times that excitement fades because you will have days when you don’t want to put in 100% effort or you start to lose that motivation. It happens to all of us! The main reason people don’t follow through with resolutions is because of setbacks. It’s easy to think, “I failed and I’m giving up.” When your mental energy is burned out from making decisions all day, all you have left are your habits and they are either good or bad. But, how do we transform those bad habits to good habits?

There are so many success stories in our society. “I failed three times before I made it.” J.K. Rowling was denied by a dozen publishers. Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. Bill Gates’ first business failed.

What success actually looks like

Working towards your goal is hard work and the only way to conquer your goal is to work it, accept that a setback or obstacle will come, but from learn it and move forward. 

This approach can help you with everything in life. Whether you are trying to become debt-free, lose weight, eat healthier, exercise consistently, strengthen a relationship, or land a big job.

Two questions to ask yourself when a setback occurs:

1.) What could have caused this?

2.) What can I practice next time?

Practice makes progress.

When you analyze why a setback happened, you’ll have the opportunity to get back on track faster. You may try something new and find out it didn’t work at all. Go back to the drawing board until you find what does work.

You may notice over time that the more you learn, the longer you will stay on track too because you won’t be constantly working through obstacles. You’ll have new work-arounds to keep you moving forward without slowing you down.

With this mindset and effort, results will happen. You will chip away at your debt, you will lose weight, you will consistently make better nutrition choices or get more exercise, your relationship will feel stronger or you will learn what it will take to land that job you want.

It’s easy to reflect on my own journey. Exercise is effortless for me but it’s because I have decades of practice with playing sports and loving the feeling of being active. But with my nutrition habits, I have decades of practice of eating processed foods, desserts and take out consistently. With seven years of practice for me, I’ve realized I’ve completely transformed my nutrition, but it didn’t happen overnight. If I never practiced getting better after my first nutritional setback (essentially given up), I’d be sitting at Day 1, starting over again.

Over the course of the year, I want you to remind yourself of all the success stories that happened due to failing first. Remind yourself that having a setback gives you an opportunity to learn, push yourself and eventually change yourself for the better. With this mindset, you’ll be able to reflect at the end of the year and realize how far you’ve grown.