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The Power of Progress: Why Tracking Your Success Keeps You Motivated

Updated: Apr 18

Progress Provides Motivation

“What motivates people at work?  Here’s what she found out.  The biggest motivator is, her words not mine. ‘Making Progress’.” - Daniel Pink

TLDR: Witnessing progress serves as a powerful motivator in pursuing a goal by reinforcing one's belief in their capabilities and offering a tangible indication that their efforts are yielding results, fueling the drive to persist and achieve further success.

When it comes to achieving your goals, be they in fitness, career, or personal development, one crucial element often stands out: the ability to see progress. The journey toward a goal can be long and challenging, and it's easy to get disheartened along the way. That's where the magic of tracking and acknowledging your progress comes into play. 

Ayelet Fishbach's book, "Get It Done," is a remarkable exploration of the science behind motivation, productivity, and goal achievement. Drawing from her extensive research in the field of psychology, Fishbach provides readers with a comprehensive guide to understanding why we procrastinate and how to overcome this common stumbling block. 

The book offers a fresh perspective on the psychology of goal setting, emphasizing the role of motivation and self-control in accomplishing tasks. Fishbach delves into practical strategies for breaking down complex goals into manageable steps, harnessing the power of intrinsic motivation, and maintaining focus amidst distractions. 

"Get It Done" is a practical, science-based roadmap to help individuals unlock their full potential and turn aspirations into accomplishments. Fishbach's insights and strategies offer valuable tools for anyone seeking to enhance their productivity and reach their goals efficiently.

According to Ayelet Fishbach, the act of seeing progress is profoundly motivating because it taps into our innate psychological need for achievement. In her research and writings, Fishbach explains that as humans, we are hardwired to seek out goals and pursue them. When we witness tangible progress, it signals to our brains that we are moving in the right direction and that our efforts are worthwhile. 

This reinforcement of success triggers a surge of positive emotions, such as satisfaction and self-efficacy, which further fuel our motivation. The visual proof of progress provides a sense of purpose and a clear path forward, making our goals appear more attainable and our commitment to them even stronger. This psychological phenomenon, elucidated by Fishbach, underlines the pivotal role of progress tracking in sustaining motivation and ultimately driving us to reach our objectives.

1. Tangible Evidence of Success: Tracking progress provides tangible evidence that you are moving forward. It's like creating a roadmap of your journey, and as you see those checkpoints getting closer, you gain confidence in your ability to reach the destination.

2. Boost to Self-Esteem: Witnessing your achievements, no matter how small, boosts self-esteem. It reminds you that you're capable of making positive changes, which, in turn, helps you tackle the next challenge with a more positive mindset.

3. Motivation Reinforcement: Progress is a powerful motivator. The more you see that your efforts are paying off, the more motivated you become to keep going. Each step forward becomes a source of inspiration for the next.

4. Learning and Adaptation: Tracking progress allows you to learn from your experiences. When you see what's working and what's not, you can make adjustments to your approach. It's a valuable tool for continuous improvement.

5. Goal Refinement: As you track your progress, you might realize that your initial goals need adjustment. This is a healthy part of the process. It shows that you're responsive to your circumstances and can set more achievable, realistic goals.

6. Accountability: Publicly or privately tracking your progress creates a sense of accountability. You've made a commitment to yourself, and that commitment becomes more real when you can see the results of your actions.

7. Patience and Perspective: Achieving significant goals often takes time. Seeing progress reminds you that even if the end goal seems distant, you are making headway. It encourages patience and a long-term perspective.

8. Inspiring Others: Your journey and progress can inspire those around you. When others witness your successes, they may be motivated to embark on their own quests for improvement.

Seeing progress is a fundamental aspect of maintaining motivation on your journey towards your goals. It serves as a compass, guiding you forward while providing proof that your hard work is paying off. Whether you're striving for personal growth, a healthier lifestyle, or professional success, remember that progress is your most loyal cheerleader, urging you to persist and achieve your dreams. So, keep tracking, keep moving, and let your progress be the wind beneath your wings on your path to success.

Get After It!



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