This is Part 20 of a series on vision. You can read previous installments here:
Part 1. Part 2. Part3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Part 9. Part 10. Part 11. Part 12. Part 13. Part 14. Part 15. Part 16. Part 17. Part 18. Part 19.
My activity rings on my Apple Watch are a good example of a goal. I know what I have to do to close the rings. Each day they start at 0. The end goal might seem far away, but I know that if I chip away at it every hour, by the time I go to bed I’ll close my rings.
What that actually gets me in the bigger picture is a different issue. It’s fair to say that closing my rings does little, if anything, to impact my vision for my health and fitness.
And that leads to a challenge: how do you know if you’re on track in implementing your vision?
If you have a big vision, it can take a long time to manifest it, or bring it into form. Your vision may also involve many different activities across a range of areas. As much as we might like the process to be clearly defined and linear, unfortunately that is not how it works.
Not only is the process not linear, it’s also often not visible. Much of the work we do to bring a vision to form is the work of navigating around ourselves.
It’s inner work: breaking habits that no longer serve us, not defaulting to reaction mode, clearing limiting beliefs, interrupting the stories we tend to tell ourselves, and rewiring disruptive thought patterns.
Until someone develops an implantable chip that will record our thoughts, there’s no Apple Watch ring or app that will track how many limiting beliefs we refused to buy into today, or how many times we refused to get caught up in a disempowering story.
There’s no clear way to track our progress. That can be frustrating if you’re a person who wants to know where you are relative to the end point.
If that’s you, here are some things to keep in mind:
(1) There is no end point
This isn’t a linear process. Creating your vision is more art than science. You’ll return to certain parts of the picture repeatedly as you tweak the elements. The picture itself will change over time. It’s a constant dialogue. Check in and evaluate where you are and whether it’s where you want to be. If it’s not, what needs to change?
(2) You can’t always see where you are
There are points along your journey where you can’t see where you are.
What may look like regression or stagnation may be that you are at a place where you can’t see your progress. If you believe in your vision, then keep doing small things that you believe work toward it. Every step of the way you are learning.
It may be that you have a taste of your vision – a glimpse – and then seem to regress. Maybe there were lessons to learn from that glimpse for what you need to adjust.
(3) Don’t believe what you see
Just because it doesn’t appear that you are making progress doesn’t mean that you aren’t making progress.
Like water hollowing out a stone, it may not look like anything is happening but if you allow the water to keep dripping on the stone, eventually it will hollow out the stone. Nature has no timeline and doesn’t ask when will it happen. It just trusts that it will happen.
And so must you.
Stay Engaged With Your Process
Some people advise to aim for 1 percent improvement each day. That would be nice, but it doesn’t always work like that. You may have days of no improvement, or even apparent regression, followed by 20 percent improvement.
There’s not only one path.
Even if it feels like nothing is changing, stay engaged with your process. Show up daily to do the work. One day you’ll look up and realize that everything is completely different.