Far too often in my life, and maybe yours, this principle was overlooked. You start with a plan, put your head down and focus on taking steps in the direction of your goal. Early success creates momentum, but as the path becomes familiar and progress slows, there is a tendency to question the pace.
The world we live in makes it tough for us to have long periods of sustained growth. Culture conditions us to expect quick fixes and overnight success. “Why expend the energy and effort when pills are available and cosmetic options exist to deliver results now!”
For personal growth to occur, we must not only visualize the outcome we desire, but we must also embrace the effort required to achieve the outcome.
This was never more evident the morning I found myself at the starting line of the the Peachtree Road Race. The Peachtree is the world’s largest 10K with 60,000 people running 6.2 miles through the streets of Atlanta on July 4th every year. Truth behold, running the Peachtree was not something I set out to do, but it became a milestone moment in one of my personal growth stories.
In 2007, I needed to lose weight, a lot of weight! The major motivation for me was getting healthy and having a better quality of life. In the beginning success was walking to the end of the street and back without having to stop and sit on one of the big green utility boxes at the half way point. I knew the journey to better health and my overall personal growth would required steady and consistent progress. To create momentum I celebrated the little “wins” along the way rather solely focusing on the desired outcome. This reconditioning of my mind allowed me to embrace the effort required to sustain a long period of personal growth.
Early on “wins” were measured by streets added to my walk rather than miles logged. Eventually the weight loss slowed, so I incorporated healthier eating habits to my personal growth journey and the weight loss resumed. One of the best decisions I made was focusing on growth and progress rather than a number one a scale. I think by measuring growth and progress in terms of feeling healthier rather than just focusing on the number on the scale I avoided disappointment and long term setbacks. Ultimately “win” of loosing over 150 pounds in a 2 1/2 year period was the result of 100’s of little “wins” in my personal growth journey.
As I look back over my journey, there were four fundamentals of personal growth which helped me achieve the results I desired and indirectly place me at the starting line of my first 10k road race.
- Understand – where you are, where to you want be, and why this is important to you now. A journey of personal growth can never begin without a vision and an understanding of why this matters to you at this stage of life.
- Announce – what you want to achieve to someone you trust and give them permission to hold you accountable as both cheerleader and coach. A personal growth journey is so much more fun when you can share it with someone who wants to see you succeed.
- Measure – progress not only by what you accomplished but also by how far you have come. A key component in personal growth is momentum. One of the best ways to sustain momentum is focusing on the next milestone rather than the finish line.
- Celebrate – everything and celebrate often. Celebrating the little wins and the milestone moments propels us toward the finish line and the personal growth we seek!
What’s your story? Share a comment or something you have learned about personal growth in your life!
Have you subscribed to Leveraging Life Now? It’s FREE, all you have to do is click here to subscribe to Leveraging Life Now.