Do you ever get part way through a task, project or day (or life!) and wonder what you’ve accomplished and struggle to see what’s changed? It can be very unmotivating to feel like you’ve worked so hard yet not see any results.
If you’re baking a cake or building a house, it’s really easy to see the results you’ve made compared with the bits you begun with. However in many of the things we spend our time on, we cannot see the full scope of what we have achieved. I can think of many different examples in my life:
- There have been times when I feel like I’ve been eating healthy and exercising, yet cannot tell if I’ve lost any weight or are any fitter for it.
- There are days when I’m so exhausted and feel like I’ve been working hard all day, yet as I look around there is still mess in every room.
- We’ve started new parenting strategies with my toddler, yet not really been able to clearly see if there has been much improvement because we can only remember his behavior from the past few days.
- I would love to remember what I expected being a parent would be like before we had kids. I cannot remember what I thought at all.
Taking a brief snapshot of your situation BEFORE you start a project or task is a great way to measure results. This can be done in a few different ways:
- A ‘before’ photograph. By far the simplest if the results are going to be visible.
- Take a video or audio that records a snapshot of ‘before’
- Keep a list of all the steps you take, so you can measure the distance between ‘before’ and ‘after’.
- A journal entry describing the ‘before’ situation. This can be done several ways also:
1. A record the facts before you start and as you progress (eg. measurements, weights, distances you’re able to run etc.)
2. Your feelings or perception about the ‘before’ situation (or ask for other people’s views about the situation). Especially good for the n
3. The description of what your ideal end goal would look like. This may change as you progress, so great to record at the start.
Having a really clear view of ‘before’ can give you a better view of just how far you’ve come. This can be extremely motivating and empowering, because if you see how much you have achieved – just imagine how much more can accomplish?! LOTS! So off you go… take a few snapshots of where you are now… and then look back tonight at all you’ve achieved!
P.S. I’ve also taken a few before/after photos of my house (eek!) to show how much I can notice the difference some days. I’m going to pop them up on the blog on Wednesday…. so if you’ve ever wondered how
messy tidy my house is…. or are curious if my house is always ‘picture perfect’… then stay tuned!
P.P.S A really great example of the power of ‘before’ photos is on a blog Healthier, Fitter, Stronger. Christy has been on a weight-loss journey this year and has a really clear picture of how all her hard work has paid off through the changes to her body. She’s now recording her journey in written format through her blog as she continues on her journey towards being healthier, fitter and stronger.
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