Look Back to See How Far You’ve Come
Life moves fast, yet slow. It’s like traveling on an airplane. Look out the window and it looks like you’re going much slower than you are. Let it be a day where the sky is completely clear and it might even look like you’re standing still. Yet, you’re traveling hundreds of miles per hour! That’s super fast compared to the 60 miles per hour speed limit on some roads.
Life moves fast, yet progress often seems slow. I started a journal a few years ago to capture my life and my prayers. I was trying to build something in my life and it felt like life stalled. Actually more like life stepped backwards a few steps on me. I wanted something to look back on to say that the situations I thought were crippling me were actually propelling me forward. I wanted to notate for myself the prayers that God answered and the circumstances He turned around. My journal was a faith building exercise for me. I journaled that I might have something to look back at.
Sometimes in the minutiae of the day to day it doesn’t look like much is changing. It’s possible for each year to look like the previous. When we’re staring out the windows of life’s airplane it looks like we’re crawling along. And that can be discouraging. It’s actually why a lot of people give up, quit, or lose faith. It looked like nothing was happening.
A prime example, when I look at my web traffic from one day to the next it doesn’t look like much has changed. Yet over the course of two years a lot has changed. Below is a look at my organic traffic. Paid and Social traffic is obviously a reflection of my advertising spend which fluctuates throughout the year. (The dip in October is due to changing my WordPress theme.) There’s been a lot of growth even though I couldn’t tell in the moment. I had to look back to see the progress I’ve made.
That’s why it’s important to dedicate time to looking back. In any given moment it may look like you haven’t made any progress but when you trace back your steps you see a completely different story. What was once discouraging can give you a bout of encouragement. You may not be where you want to be. Perhaps you haven’t made it to the grand finale, but you’re not still at the starting line either.
As 2017 comes to a close spend some time thinking about how far you’ve come. Read old journal entries or social media post. Look for places in your life where things have changed for the better. What is in your life today that wasn’t in your life this time last year? A job? An experience such as a trip or vacation? A friend? A relationship? A blog?? An attitude or mindset? An accomplishment?Perhaps you ended something that was not the best thing for you. Reflect on the new, positive things that happened for you this year. Celebrate how far you’ve come.
Some things that are in my life today that wasn’t in my life this time last year:
A bestselling book on Amazon (From Caterpillar to Butterfly: Transform the Life You Have into the Life You Love).
The experience of traveling to Colombia and new friends to go along with it.
A church family with like-minded believers. (I’m actually headed to my first ever Friendsgiving in a bit.)
Serving in my church as an usher and new relationships to go along with it. (A lot of my new stuff has to do with church.)
More money. A slight increase in income.
My brother moved to Houston! I get to spend more time with him.
A podcast, From Caterpillars to Butterflies Personal Growth podcast (almost a year old now).
Two visits to San Diego. I had never gone before now I’ve gone twice!
A vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (and a new timeshare to go with it ?)
A 136% increase in web traffic over 2016 and the year isn’t over yet. Nearly 400% increase in Organic traffic.
A new brand for my blog, fromcaterpillarstobutterflies.com.
What’s new in your life this year? How far have you really come? What prayers have been answered?