When it comes to meeting a big goal, it’s important to remember that progress happens gradually, not at lighting speed.
As they say, you can’t expect to run a marathon in a day. So why should we pressure ourselves into achieving success overnight?
When we fixate on the results, we set up unrealistic expectations. Then we lose faith when we come up short. But by shifting the focus to your progress, it becomes more about your growth and development. You start to become more invested in how much you’re learning and improving along the way. By focusing on the process and the bigger picture, you learn to appreciate your wins, losses, failures, lessons learned, and everything in between.
Of course, it’s natural to feel frustration when we don’t see positive results right away. It’s in our nature to seek instant gratification. But instead of waiting around for success, we need to embrace and celebrate our micro wins along the way, so that we can appreciate how far we’ve come since day one.
By measuring our progress, we not only sustain interest in our goal, but we maintain momentum during the good times and, more importantly, the challenging times.
Below, we’ve rounded up the most inspiring progress quotes that will motivate you as you pursue your big goals. Should you ever encounter disappointment or failure in pursuit of your goal, take some time to review these empowering quotes and remind yourself that slow and steady wins the race.
Tools to measure your progress
Here are some tools you might want on hand to help you keep track of your goals and your progress.
Multi-colored pens. If you’re a visual learner, you’ll love using colorful pens to highlight information and visualize your trajectory.
Washi tape. You can use washi tape to block off your schedule or to decorate your planner and have some crafty fun while you’re putting in all that hard work. :)
Gold stars or fun stickers. We all need a little boost when we’re working towards our goals. It’s important to recognize all our little gains and mini triumphs. So make your inner child happy with gold stars and playful stickers and have fun with the process.
How to measure your progress
If you want to ensure that you stick with your goal, check in on it regularly.
Our minds are not always the most reliable observers. We might think we had a lousy workout or an awful writing session, but if we took a look at the data, we might see that we ran farther than we had thought or wrote more words than we had realized.
Measuring our progress can also help us see how much we’ve improved.
A big reason that so many of us lose hope when it comes to our goals, is that the finish line seems so far away. We feel like we’re not seeing any changes or improvements and we start to think that the effort isn’t worth it.
And any change we do notice seems so minuscule that it doesn’t seem worth noting.
But small changes lead to big wins over time.
Even if we experience failure or rejection, it’s not a loss. It’s a teachable moment. Any experience that gives you insight into your behavior or inner beliefs or any takeaway, is a reward in and of itself. You’ll walk away a better writer, entrepreneur, athlete, or whatever it is that you seek.
The simplest way to measure your progress is to record your goals for the day or week, and then follow up at the end of the day or week to see how you did.
For example, let’s say that your goal is to run 20 minutes, three times a week.
So at the top of your notebook page, you can write: Goal: 20 minute run, three times a week.
Then, after each run, you can record details that will help you gain further insight into your run. For example:
- Time of run: 12:00 PM
- Duration: 15 minutes
- Location: Running trail in the park
- Nutrition: Oatmeal for breakfast and a banana before the run
- Water: Glass of water before run
- Energy: Felt tired at first, but then felt energized after a few minutes
Record your runs after each workout and see how they measure up to your initial goal.
You might see that you’re not quite meeting your goal but that you’re getting closer with each workout.
They say that progress is a zig zag, not a straight line. So you’re bound to see dips and valleys along with peaks and victories. Keep this in mind when you’re examining your progress and you’ll be able to take less stock in the short term losses, and start to appreciate the big picture view.
How to use these progress quotes
When a quote resonates with us, it stirs our inner belief and makes us resolute in the pursuit of our goals.
Turn to these words whenever you need a little push in the right direction. If you’re feeling low on energy or motivation, flip through these quotes and recite them out loud like a mantra.
Or record these quotes in your goal-setting journal and review them before a workout to give you a mental boost. You can read these quotes as part of your calming morning routine to get your day off on the right foot. Or incorporate them into your evening wind-down routine, to end the day on an optimistic note.
Progress quotes to help you enjoy the journey and trust the process
- “Failure is success in progress.” Albert Einstein
- “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” — Arthur Ashe
- “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What's important is the action. You don't have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow." - Carrie Fisher
- “Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” - Eliza Tabor
- “Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.” - Julia Cameron
- “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin
- “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” – Barack Obama
- “Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity.” - Bruce Lee
- “Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” - Moliere
- "If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time." - Steve Jobs
- “The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.” - Vince Lombardi
- “All great achievements require time.” – Maya Angelou