Slow Progress is Progress
…people who set small, attainable goals were more likely to achieve them and feel more satisfied with their progress than those who set big, lofty goals.~Journal of Consumer Research
In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of instant gratification. We want results and we want them now. However, when it comes to achieving our goals and making significant changes in our lives, it’s important to remember that progress takes time. Go slow, it took years to get to where you are, and it’s not going to be undone in 30 days.
Research has shown that setting realistic goals and taking incremental steps towards them is key to achieving long-term success. In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers found that people who set small, attainable goals were more likely to achieve them and feel more satisfied with their progress than those who set big, lofty goals.
Additionally, the concept of “Kaizen” emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement through small, incremental changes. Originating from Japanese manufacturing practices, Kaizen has been applied to various fields, including personal development. The idea is to focus on making small, continuous improvements over time, rather than trying to make one big change all at once.
So, how can we apply these concepts to our own lives and goals? Here are some tips:
- Set small, achievable goals: Rather than setting a huge, intimidating goal, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will help you build momentum and feel a sense of accomplishment along the way.
- Track your progress: Keep a record of your progress, whether it’s through a journal or an app. This will help you stay motivated and see how far you’ve come.
- Celebrate your successes: Take time to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. This will help you stay motivated and keep pushing forward. Remember celebrations look different for everyone and do not have to be around food! (Examples: Go to the spa, invest time in a fun hobby, go on a day trip, buy the new thing)
- Practice self-compassion: Remember that progress takes time and setbacks are a natural part of the process. Be kind to yourself and keep moving forward.
In conclusion, it’s important to remember that change takes time and there are no shortcuts to success. By setting small, achievable goals and focusing on continuous improvement, we can make meaningful progress towards our goals and achieve long-term success. So, don’t be discouraged by slow progress – keep moving forward and celebrate every step of the way.
- Masicampo, E. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (2011). Consider it done! Plan making can eliminate the cognitive effects of unfulfilled goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(4), 667–683. doi:10.1037/a0024192
- Powers, T. A., Koestner, R., & Topciu, R. A. (2005). Implementation intentions, perfectionism, and goal progress: perhaps the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31(7), 902–912. doi:10.1177/0146167204271415
- Liker, J. K. (2004). The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer. McGraw-Hill.
- Anderson, K. (2018). The Power of Small Wins. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2011/05/the-power-of-small-wins.