Incremental progress

Photo courtesy of Henk Jan (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Henk Jan (Creative Commons)

I had a huge list of things I wanted to accomplish over the Thanksgiving break. I had been looking forward to the time off for a while, expecting to start checking things off my list and feeling lighter with each check-mark. My hope was to start December with all sorts of things taken care of, a plan for the busy holiday season, and no piles or lengthy annoying lists or backlogs of “stuff.”

Done. Done. Done.

I’m sure you know what is coming now – I still have a stack of things to deal with on my desk, a partial plan for the month, and lots of things I still need to figure out.

I also feel better about everything because I did make progress. Small baby steps, but progress just the same.

And because of that progress, I am more confident going into this new week and new month, knowing that I have started things moving toward some new and exciting goals, and will build on that success.

I think we often expect for success to come riding in like Prince Charming on his big horse with sword blazing, knocking down problems all around. We want to look out and see opportunities cheering and the challenges flat on their backs. Done means there’s no list left, we have accomplished our wildest dreams, and there is nothing left to worry about.

That’s a nice dream.

Reality is that as soon as I check one thing off the list, I realize there are two or three others I need to add.

Reality is I would become stagnant if I actually did hit all my goals.

Reality is I need to buckle down and continue to focus on making incremental progress on improving every day and never expect to be “done.”

In all honesty – the minute I reach a goal or do come to completion on something – I need to be reaching toward a new goal.

How have you made incremental progress on your goals?