9 Signs you are making progress and Why Celebrating these are important
If you're feeling frustrated with your progress toward a goal, or just feeling stagnant? It might be time to take a look at a few key components in your day to day life. It can be physically and emotionally crippling to be in this limbo of feeling stagnant, but we can help you snap out of it and refocus.
For starters, you’re probably doing way better than you think; it’s just a matter of reframing your mindset. Let us explain…Often, the things that feel like baby steps are actually MORE important than the monumental leaps we’ve put on a pedastool. Small changes take more work — mental, physical, and otherwise — than many of us truly anticipate. Change is not easy, it's hard! And no matter how much we know that, remembering it in our day-to-day lives proves to be a feat all its own. As being certified health and fitness coaches, with the knowledge and education to ‘know better’ … We still need this reminder! It just goes to show you, all of us need progress check-ins now and then, no matter our level of fitness experience!
Keep in mind that there are many ways to measure progress, and your singular vision or definition of success (though important and valid!) maaaay be a bit too small of a target to nail in a short amount of time. This is true both if you have a specific, quantifiable objective (lose X pounds by X date) or if you have a vague, general goal (‘be healthier and work out more’). With the first example, you may not have achieved that one singular item on your list, and with the second, you have no one specific thing to measure. Ironically, both of these things on either end of the spectrum can leave you feeling like you’ve made zero progress whatsoever. And that feeling… as we mentioned above. It’s pretty terrible.
Ready to refocus? Let’s set some new benchmarks for our ‘goal progress inventory,’ shall we?
Take a look at how your habits changed! What habit shifts have you seen in your day-to-day life? Maybe you walk more now than you did a couple of months/years ago? Maybe you picked up a weekly yoga class? What does your vitamin routine look like? Are you on a daily probiotic routine? Or maybe you took up a monthly facial massage to help your TMJ? It could be worth it to just track your daily routine for a week or so, so you can see how far you’ve come!
Your emotional and mental health are perhaps the biggest part of this whole healthy living equation. So, check in and take note on how you are feeling? Even if you’re not over the top joyful, you may be in a better mental health place than you were just a year ago. Take note. Reflect in your journal. Talk to your loved ones to see if they have noticed a change. This is a big one, you guys!
Improved Sleep Quality
Think about quality, quantity, and how refreshed you feel after a night of rest… check in to see how you are doing? Were you in this place a few weeks ago or even a few months ago? What about this time last year? If you track your sleep in an app or have a sleep log, review it!
Do you feel a little more pep in your step or life when you wake up? This could be a result of better habits and improved routines you do day to day… Your exercise, nutrition, sleep, and stress management all contribute to your energy levels!
When was the last time you were really feeling under the weather? Review the past year… how many times did you have a cold, flu, or some other bug? Now compare that to years past. Have you made progress?! If so, you are moving in the right direction!
This is another smallchange that is hard to see in your day-to-day workout routine but worth evaluating nonetheless! Is there a workout routine that you do now that you’ve been doing for a while? Perhaps you were struggling to make it through it two years ago, and now it’s a "breeze"? Don’t forget your day one… that version of you would be SO proud of where you are now.
An other more quantifiable measurement is how heavy you’re lifting during your workouts! If you struggled with five-pound dumbbells years ago, and now you’re working with 30-pounders, that’s huge! Even if you’ve moved from five to seven pounds, give yourself a massive pat on the back (metaphorically or literally because you ARE making progress).
If you started your journey because you had chronic pain and stiffness, is that improving now? If you’ve made changes to your diet or movement in order to target pain, try keeping a log of the levels of pain to see what is working and what isn't. It’s easier to notice when you’re in pain versus when you aren’t, so doing a conscious check-in is very important.
If your doctor had you monitoring vitamin D levels, cholesterol, or blood glucose, and you’ve been working toward eating healthier and adding in mindful movement to your routine, it could be time to get a progress report from your doctor and see how your hard work has paid off. This isn’t something you can easily check at home, so working with your provider can help you feel like you’re still tracking toward those health goals.
Time to Celebrate!
Once you’ve taken inventory… How’d you do? Where are you at?
We are certain that somewhere, across the numerous categories above, you've been able to measure your successes (even the smallest changes). Now it’s time to celebrate!
Celebrate your small successes. If you got off the couch today, for the first time in couple weeks, and moved for five to ten minutes, CELEBRATE IT. If you are lifting seven-pound weights instead of five-pounders today, tell your coach about it. Write it down, take a picture, spend a few minutes really celebrating and honoring that progress. While it may feel silly to you at first, this celebration is key to your continued success and progress.