Why you might be making more progress than you think

I came to the end of a week recently, and I felt as though, even though I had given it my all, there was still so much not done.

Maybe you know the feeling.

Maybe you’ve recently finished off a week, or even the year, and felt as thought there was so much more you would have liked to have accomplished.

But then I realised something.

I sat down to review my week and plan for the next one with my Full Focus Planner, and I looked back to my ‘Weekly Big 3’ goals, a framework I’ve only been using over the last quarter since starting with the planner from Michael Hyatt (there’s a good review of it here).

As I looked at the ‘Big 3’ I has set for myself for the week – three objectives that would allow me to make meaningful progress towards my most important goals – I realised I had achieved them all. What I had determined to be most important for the week had got done.

Yes, there were still many, many things on the to-do list. But that will always be true. If you’re pursuing big, meaningful goals in any area of life, you will always end every week with more tasks to tick off the list.

But they can’t all be most important in any given week.

And so there is power in identifying the most important goals for a given space of time, getting those most important things done, and then, crucially, recognising that you did in fact achieve what you set out to do.

Prioritisation happened. Progress happened.

Is there more of the race to run? Absolutely! But was this lap a success? It turns out, yes.

The power of both setting the goals, and then reviewing them, was realising my own progress in the midst of a much longer journey, when I could otherwise have been discouraged by all that remained in front of me.

It reminded me of a line Marie Curie once wrote in a letter to her brother in 1894 –

“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”

It’s so true. And that’s why I’ll be making doubly sure I embed my goal setting and review routines in 2019, at an annual, weekly and daily level.

As we all naturally begin to reflect on the year that has been, it is tempting to think of all that didn’t get done. But make sure to take time to remember, and even record, what did get achieved. Celebrate the wins. Notice the progress. You might find there was even more than you thought!