Saturday, January 4, 2014

Progress is the Word

"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14

I hadn't really thought about choosing a "word" for 2014. Due to a lack of success, or perhaps to my continual failure to follow through with any and all resolutions or words in the past, I have chosen to abstain from such practices. But this year a "smart" comment on a friend's Facebook status got me thinking, always a dangerous thing.

Progress is the word (cue the Grease theme; 'Grease is the word, is the word, is the word'). As I thought about this word, I realized it not only would help me grow but also helps me gain strength by looking back.

  • Forward Steps not Goals Met: Webster's defines progress as "the process of improving or developing something over a period of time." Progress by definition is not about the finished product, it's about the movement through the process. I'm in a serious battle to become healthier this year. I'm setting my goals not in pounds lost but in changes made. A day without soda is progress whether the scale changes or not. 
  • See How far I've Come: My life has been through lots of changes over the past 7 years, in many ways I am still recovering from the trauma of my divorce and the subsequent years of feeling overwhelmed. This year I'm happily married (1 year on 12/22/13), my kids are healthy and maturing and life feels normal. This is progress. Looking back to the time right after the divorce, I never thought I'd feel normal again.  So this year I celebrate the progress in healing and growth.
  • Not interested in Perfection: My desire to succeed and the requirement to be perfect has derailed many of my goals and resolutions in the past. It's not that I never had the best intentions but often I set the bar too high. Follow through has always been the tough part. Progress isn't about being perfect, it's about moving forward. Even the smallest step forward is progress.
The Grand Canyon is a testament to the progress made by a river over a long period of time. A focused effort even if it is small will lead to great things. Progress made should never be taken lightly. And now so I know the earworm is firmly established in your ear, Progress is the word, is the word, it's got groove it's got meaning. . . 

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I have to remind myself that progress is the goal, not whatever arbitrary deadline or spot I chose at the beginning of any given year. And, even two steps forward, one step back is progress (though it doesn't feel that way during the one-step-back part).

    And even when I think I haven't made much progress, if I look back over a slightly longer period of time (the past few years, for instance, instead of the past few months), I realize I really have made a lot of progress. It's just that the increments were way too small for me to notice as they crept by.

    Happy new year to you and yours!