Ways to Make Progress and Realize Your Goals

Slow to Make Progress? Check in With Your Mindset

Dreams are not terminated because the dreamers gave up; they died due to a long period of inactivity. This is why you need to develop a progress mindset while pursuing relevant and meaningful goals.

Your mindset encompasses your beliefs—how you perceive your talents, skills, knowledge, and personality. Your belief system eventually influences your viewpoints about goals and success. A fixed mindset can hinder your progress, while a progressive mindset will enable you to achieve sound health, happiness, good relationships, and peace.

A progress mindset will enable you to work on any inadequacy that can truncate the realization of your goals. With such a mindset, you are constantly evaluating yourself, improving your skills, and seeking ways to learn and grow through life.

6 Ways to Make Progress and Realize Your Goals

Here are 6 practical ways that you can make progress and realize all your goals.

1. Figure Out Your WHYs

Nothing is static. You either make progress or regress. You need to establish why you want to move forward.

Your “why” needs to be personal and needs to have some kind of emotional connection to what you want. “I want to lose weight, so I look fantastic at the beach” is a good personal “why.” I’ve found the more embarrassing it is to tell someone your “why,” the stronger the “why” is.

If you are unsure where to start, try one of the following prompts:

  • Career: Why do I want to be fulfilled in my career?
  • Marriage: Why do I want a happy home and loving children?
  • Health: Why do I want to be physically and mentally sound?
  • Finance: Why do I want to be out of debt?
  • Academics: Why do I want to ace my grades?
  • Relationship: Why do I want to communicate better?
  • Personal: Why do I want to be a better person?

For every aspect of your life, establish the reasons for changing levels. Establishing your reasons will help you to be an active player in decisions that affect your life. You will also be able to establish if your motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic as you make progress.

2. Establish Tangible Goals

Once you have established your reasons, the next step is to establish your life goals. Develop your aims for short-term, mid-term, as well as long-term goals. This process will enable you to track your progress and implement changes that improve your progress.


Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound in order to make progress. For instance, I want to improve my typing speed by 150 wpm within the next three months. I will spend two hours daily practicing on Mavis Beacon. I wrote in detail on how to set SMART goals that you will accomplish.

You can learn how to write SMART goals in the video below:


Sticking your goals on your wall or notepad will offer you a visual cue that reinforces why, how, and when you want to progress on your goals. Once you have written down your goals, look for connections. Often when we set our goals, there will be a natural connection between our goals.

Losing weight and getting fit is a good example – there are two goals there. The two naturally fit together, so you can plan around them and set similar milestones. Review your goals at intervals to ensure you can still achieve them.

3. Create Your Game Plan

It is not enough to know what you want from life; you must design a roadmap to reach your destination.

Start by breaking your SMART goals into habits. Begin by highlighting the good habits you need to cultivate and the bad habits you need to eliminate. Next, you need to master one habit at a time. Once you figure out the good habits in your life, ensure you practice them daily.

A recent review said that while many factors are at play, it generally takes 12 weeks for certain habits to develop. [1]

Once you have gained mastery over a habit, add more routines that will enable you to progress toward your goals.

4. Imbibe Positivity

A positive outlook means you are always optimistic about yourself, your interactions, and events. It also determines your ability to expect favorable outcomes when working towards a life goal.

Positivity is a mental posture that sees accomplishments and opportunities instead of failures and defeat. It will keep you hopeful when you are facing daunting challenges.

A study on self-integrity showed that people benefit from reflecting on positive parts of themselves when faced with difficulties.[2]


  • Look out for the best in every circumstance to be more progress-minded.
  • Use positive affirmations. For instance, when you wake up, say, “I will work hard to complete all my milestones today.”
  • Associate with positive people who will support your progress. You need positive energy to consistently make progress toward your goals.
  • Change your perspectives about failures and setbacks, and see them as significant components of making progress.

5. Practice Reflection as You Progress

A lot of things will occur once you are determined to advance. You will learn new lessons and implement changes. You will form new habits and eliminate bad ones.

It is reasonable to take time out and evaluate what worked and what did not. Ask yourself how you can improve and surmount new obstacles. You can log your answers in a diary or use a virtual journal to track your thoughts.[3]

Positive self-reflection can change your overall well-being, as well as improve how you function.[4]

Self-reflection will enable you to keep your goals in mind constantly, which will ultimately help you make progress.


During this period, define your goals and reflect on them. It will also help you verify if your goals are still achievable.

For example, if your goal is to get fit and lose weight, set the number of times you will exercise and how much weight you want to lose weekly. If your goal is to save $20,000 in the next year, set the objective to save $385 that week (or not spend $385 that week).


Did I achieve all I planned? What salient lesson can I pick this week? What new things did I learn, and what actions do I need to make progress?

6. Celebrate Your Achievements

It is crucial to acknowledge every milestone you complete as you progress in life. Celebrating your achievements will build your confidence and provide you with the motivation to continue. One of the best ways to do this is by pampering yourself with rewards when you achieve a goal. These rewards could be things you enjoy, such as a special meal, a music collection, or a mini-vacation.

These little rewards will continuously remind you of victory anytime you feel like giving up. Merely looking at your mini-vacation pictures will motivate you to keep working towards your next goals.

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Abanum Elijah

The author Abanum Elijah


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