When it comes to change and growth, with the right life skills you can expect to make slow but steady progress. The idea of all or nothing and overnight success can be very appealing, but one reason so many people never achieve much is that big things take time.
We may not want to hear it, but I deal in reality, not sales pitches. Whether you’re building muscle or losing fat, growing a business or developing a relationship, significant achievements are going to come slowly. It’s called growth.
We live in a world that promotes instant gratification. And sometimes, with enough focus and concerted effort it is possible to experience a quantum leap in a relatively short period of time. But such times of accelerated progress tend to be the exception rather than the rule.
So even though I love to make rapid progress as often as possible, I also recognize the excelling value of slow, steady, consistent growth. The following seven life skills can be applied to almost any pursuit and will result in significant cumulative progress on a continual basis.
Life skills for making steady progress
1. Commit to the long haul. Expect to pay your dues. Chances are, you’re not going to succeed immediately, because every success comes with a learning curve. Instead of resisting that idea, learn to enjoy the growth process. Most progress in life is cumulative. You lay a foundation and the build on it over time. This is true whether you are building muscle or building a financial empire. The important thing is make steady progress and to keep moving forward.
2. Make working on your goal part of your routine. Without the right life skills, long-term goals are very easy to lose sight of . Our daily routine can cover them up and push them to the side if we don’t have viable plan in place. The secrete is to make you goal a regular part of your daily routine. Try to do at least one thing every day that moves you closer to you desired outcome. If you make a plan and stick to it, progress will follow.
3. See the big picture. When change is slow, we can get discouraged and start to wonder if it’s worth the effort. Gauge you progress from where you started. This is the only legitimate way to see how far you’ve come. If you keep comparing where you are with where you want to be, you won’t give yourself the the approval you deserve for the steps you’ve already accomplished. Seeing how far you have come is more motivating than obsessing on haw far you have to go.
4. Appreciate every inch of progress. Proverbially, the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. When we hear people talk about their success, they often talk about the big moments, the ones where everything changed. We hear about those moments because they’re the ones that make good stories. But behind each of those moments are thousands of small, regular actions that add up to something big. You’ll have big moments too. They are born from a lot of little steps that finally add up.
5. Evaluate your progress to stay on course. Progress is never a straight line, adjustments are always required. Learning to make small, calculate adjustments is one of those life skills that comes from experience. Learning not to over react is an important part of that skill. A one degree shift can be the difference between hitting your goal and missing it by a mile. So, once you get headed in the right direction don’t over correct. Make tiny corrections and then evaluate.
6. See obstacles as welcome challenges. There will always be obstacles to get past, that’s the nature of progress. The thing is, those obstacles are part of the learning curve and overcoming them is what prepares you for the next step. So, rather than seeing them as obstacles, see them as challenges and rise to meet them. Meeting challenges successfully is how we succeed. It is a vital part of the process and it helps you build the life skills needed for success. Don’t run from them, welcome them as an opportunity to grow.
7. Celebrate your progress. Progress is a reason to celebrate, any progress. You don’t have to reach your goal before you can be happy about how well you are doing. Celebrate progress instead. In life you are either moving forward, standing still, or losing ground. If you are moving forward, even slowly, then give yourself some credit and some well deserved approval. The journey is where you spend most of your life. Destinations are great, but they are usually just a rest stop on the way to another goal of some kind. Celebrate the Journey!
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