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The ‘Process of Progress’ Is Key to Success in Life

By Dr. Molly Casey

Looking For Progress

Humans want progress in health and life. Who wouldn’t want something better? Progress is onward or forward movement toward a destination or goal.

Think about it: you want to make more money, that’s progress. You want to drop some weight or change those cholesterol numbers, that’s progress. You want to get better at a certain skill, that’s progress. You want to have a more deeply fulfilling relationship with your loved ones, that’s progress. Humans want progress.

However, they often only stay focused on the end result and when they don’t meet it, they wonder why. It’s because progress is a process -- and to achieve the end result, the process matters. Forgetting the process is often why folks never achieve the progress, or results, they desire. So let’s take a look at a few things that can help you along the way in your journey toward achieving your progress in health.

This is the process of progress.

Mental Game

It was George Bernard Shaw who said, “Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.”

To reach your goals, to attain progress, to achieve movement forward in life and health, requires that you change. If you want something that you don’t currently have, or you need experience to get it, something in your life and existence must change so you can attain it. The willingness to let go of your life as you currently know it is a requirement to then be able to accept the thing/experience you want. This is all mindset.

Think of it this way. You desire to be able to run a 10K run or participate in fitness events of some sort. You currently have no exercise routine or nothing consistent. You must, in your mind, first be willing to create and commit to a run or gym schedule that will move you toward your goal. You must find a way in your head and then work it out in your schedule to get up every morning at 5 a.m. and make it happen. Your willingness to mentally create the space and mentally commit to giving up the time (but hopefully not the sleep) is the first step. This process occurs in every single goal. To get to some point forward you must leave where you are now -- and that, in and of itself, is change.

So own the mental game. Progress and achieving your goals happens in your mind first.

Action With Consistency

It was Satya Nani who said, “A little progress every day adds up to big results.”

Progress in not only a mental game. Nothing occurs without action. The key to action is consistency. Losing weight doesn’t occur with one healthy meal or one trip to the gym. It occurs with repetition.

Three months into the year and likely many of you are waning on the work it takes to achieve the goals set out on your New Year’s resolutions. Rome wasn’t built in a day and marathons are run one step at a time. American society is currently obsessed with instant gratification and ease, but sustainable progress comes over time and requires effort.

Create a life that embraces work and the process of progress because that will set you up to win. This involves consistent action toward your goal on a daily basis, regardless of how you feel. Commitment has nothing to do with feelings. In being fully committed to progress toward your goals, you’ll learn to take consistent action even when you don’t feel like it. That is what will propel you to achieving the results you desire.

Make no mistake, it will require some discipline.

Tracking Progress

Tony Robbins is fond of saying, “Energy flows where attention goes.”

One major gap in the process of progress is that folks don’t track it. What you focus on is what grows. Have you ever had an experience in which you know there is an imperfection or rip in a piece of clothing and, even though it’s so small that others never notice it, it’s the only thing you can see? Or you take notice of a car you like, and even though you would swear you’ve never seen it before, the next few weeks you see that specific model everywhere you go. There are infinite examples of this: once it is in your head, you’ve placed a focus and attention there and you begin to see it over and over.

This concept can be helpful or unhelpful in your process of progress, depending on how you use it or don’t. Define your key parameters and regularly assess them. In doing so, you’ll consistently have a clear picture of where you’re currently at in the process and be able to compare it to where you’re coming from and going to.

For example, in a fitness journey your goal may be to complete a 10K run in under 52 minutes and drop 15 pounds. Key parameters of the process may be the distance run, time run, adherence to daily water and food guidelines, weekly body pictures, and weight on a scale. Grab a notebook and assess these key parameters either daily or weekly as needed throughout your journey. Your attention remains focused on what you’re doing and your effort and energy naturally keeps you geared toward success in these parameters. No matter how big or small, you’ll regularly see your work and movement forward -- your progress. This part of the process produces desirable results.

Adaptation As Necessary

It was Albert Einstein who said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”

Sometimes the plan we set out on needs to change. When you’re actively engaged in the mental component of the process of progress, you’re consistently taking action and tracking your progress; it is very easy to see when you hit lulls or plateaus. You can clearly see when what you’ve been doing is no longer working or you’ve hit a challenge that needs to be addressed.

The willingness to change the original plan or tweak an approach may be required. The great thing is that approaching the process of progress in this manner makes it clear to tell the difference between a bump in the road and a need to shift. There aren’t a ton of unanswered questions because you’ve been actively engaging and interacting with the process of moving toward your goal. When you apply the process above, you are not overwhelmed with the feeling of failure and not knowing why. These gaps are evident when you engage with the process clearly. Be willing to shift and change to move yourself forward more quickly and efficiently.

Summary

Humans desire progress. But you need a process to achieve progress. Engage with the process of progress to achieve your goals more consistently and more efficiently. Life and health is about progress. In your journey of health, take advantage of all your available resources. Let doctors of chiropractic assist you and your body in movement forward to engage with optimal levels of performance in all areas. Take advantage of massage to condition your muscles. Engage in meditation to increase your focus. Utilize everything you can so that you strengthen the process that allows you to maximize your opportunity to progress. Not only you, but your family and those you come into contact with will benefit as well.

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