Today, I am sharing my thoughts on how I measure progress. Within the four walls of an institution, it is very easy to measure progress because your life has structure and rhythm. You know that in that phase, progress meant acing tests & assessments and moving on to the next level. Although, in retrospect, I am incredibly grateful for that process as I learnt diligence and consistency from it. Then I graduated and everything changed. It became hard to measure progress. It became tough to remain consistent with many things because, there were no structures in place and deadlines to be enforced. I was just on my own and boy, that was the freedom I had longed for, wasn’t it?
Now, in staying true to achieving my goals, I am back in the four walls of an institution. Learning is completely different and easy here. The flexibility makes me want to weep for the stress I went through in the Nigerian academic system but it also makes me conscious that it is so easy to take it for granted and then fail. My life is all about deadlines and study hours again but this thought has been going on in my head over and over. How do I measure progress? Is it back to making it through my classes, ensuring 100% attendance, acing tests and assessments? What actions am I intentional about now to help ensure my goals are achieved? What opportunities do I have access to, simply by being here?
I realize it all comes back to being intentional about goals setting. No matter the stage you are at in life, if you do not prepare intentionally for the course your life will take, then life will happen to you. Yes, moving through the academic stages can be progress but are you simply moving through depending on deadlines instead of working smartly to ensure you get the best of every stage. Are you beginning to plan and set goals for those things you want to achieve outside of the structure and safety of an institution?
Once you are out, social media does not do much for your self esteem when you begin to look at what your colleagues are achieving or doing. That is why you need to be in charge of your own narrative by consciously getting involved in your own life. It is not so much “I want to do this and this” but more of, “yes, I want to do this and this. Now, what must I do to get this and this done?” I am conscious to ask myself this question every morning as I start the day. It helps me center myself to the very urgent things that need to get done and not get carried away by things that may be good but not important in the grand scheme of things. At the end of the day, I can visibly track and see exactly what I am doing with my life and measure progress.
What other tips do you use to help you stay focused on your goals? Pray, share!