There is nothing more you can do than your best. Some days, your best is better than other days. Doing your best every day will result in continuous improvement over time.
Instead of thinking about big, fixed goals as a single point in the future, it can help to think more in terms of ‘in what direction do I want to improve?’ Imagining and believing in goals can be powerful, but it’s important to focus on the doing, the practice and continuous improvement in order to make progress.
Doing your best and improving every day will move you furthest in the direction you want to go. Focusing only on goals and not on the present moment, the process and the doing, won’t result in progress. Your goals can be a tool to help you navigate, to help you believe and to help motivate you, but what actually happens day to day, the action you take, is what really matters.
Measure progress by the action you take. If you do your best every day, what more can you do? This is quite literally the most progress you can make. Whilst understanding and reflecting on the results of the action we take is helpful, it can be destructive to focus too much on outcome as we often see this from a skewed perspective.
We find it difficult to measure things without having other things to compare with. For example, we don’t know if a product is well priced unless we have other products we can compare it with. When it comes to judging how much progress we are making, it’s easy to compare ourselves to other people, especially those who we feel are making more progress than us.
We might also judge ourselves by what we believe other people expect of us, or even what we expect of ourselves. “I should be doing more than I am doing” is a common feeling to have, which can lead to contagious feelings of negativity that can affect motivation, mood and progress.
Understanding that you can only do your best every day and that you are fully in control of what direction you are going in can help you measure progress in a more effective way. Instead of using external influences or artificial goals as a measure of where you think you should be, you can simply ask yourself ‘am I doing my best today?’
If the answer is yes, then keep on going! If it’s no, then tomorrow you can try again. And your best isn’t necessarily ‘more’. Doing more is just doing more, doing your best takes into context everything else happening in your life, your other goals and ambitions, the needs of your body, your friends, family and everything else.
Instead of feeling the pressure that you should be doing more or you should be somewhere you are not, turn that negative energy into motivation, so tomorrow you are motivated to do your best and improve a little bit more.