It’s difficult to gauge progress in the day to day. We know this every time someone we haven’t seen in awhile comments on how big a growing child or pet has become. Sure, you know they are growing, but maybe you didn’t realize it within that timeframe.
Changes can be so small that when we live with it day to day, we don’t notice. Whereas someone who has been away for a few weeks can pick up on it.
Within our own lives, we never get that distance to have an outside perspective, so you may change for better or for worse without noticing it at all. How do we get a better perspective?
- We could measure in an objective way. We do this racing triathlon, as long as conditions are similar, we can gauge progress with events, transition times, and how we monitor our nutrition. We can also do it in training; measuring a mile pace or 500 meters swimming, for example.
- We can ask others for assistance. Coaches may do this for us, though remember that if we see them regularly they also do not have the outside perspective that one would who hasn’t been with you for longer periods of time.
- We can use our prior self. If we take notes about how we are doing, and use pictures, sometimes you can look at yourself from a distant perspective.
In triathlon and other areas of life, it may be most important just to recognize that you are not aware of the little changes. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and don’t easily give up on something because the progress seems too small.