Progress

We’re at the end of the first full week of the year. We made it through despite dreaded January coughs and colds and seemingly never-ending fog and darkness, and yet I find myself feeling disappointed. I had great plans to take so many pictures, write loads and have published a post on here every day, as well as overhaul my house and wardrobe, giving everything a good sort out and a good clean, but alas, things didn’t work out quite how I’d planned. I sit writing this amongst the same house I ended the year with, marginally frustrated that it hasn’t magically tidied itself into a magazine worthy minimalist paradise.

I think at this time of year it can be easy to slip into a rut where you feel as though you’re stuck. It feels like you’re making no progress, especially with the weather being so damp and dark. I often think the first few weeks of the year are the hardest. Our social media feeds are filled with people sharing and shouting about their successes, which frustratingly, has a strange habit of making your own achievements feel smaller. I don’t, however, think they should stop shouting. I think that really, we should all be shouting, or at least openly embracing our success, no matter how small. If you’re a quiet soul, try whispering them, or even writing a list.

Every little success should be celebrated, as it’s part of something larger. Every little building block you can put in place, is pushing you further towards your goal. Even the smallest achievements matter, and should be celebrated, as it means you’re making progress. I wrote myself out a little note to remind me of the above quote, as it really is worth remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day. These things take time!

I find writing things down definitely helps. I listed everything I’d done this past week, and despite not achieving all that I’d hoped, I have however sorted three bags of clothes and various bits and pieces to take to a charity shop, and two more for recycling. I completed my tax return, and finally threw out the two carrier bags of old supermarket receipts I’d been hoarding ‘just in case’. I completed my first proper week back at work in the real world after two weeks off. I’ve finally nearly got over the cold that’s been plaguing me since boxing day, and I did a proper food shop. I’ve gone a full week without any wine, cheese or chocolate, something that I think deserves a pat on the back. After reading back my list, I realised that my week was far more successful than I initially though, and despite thinking I was at a standstill, I have in fact made some progress.

If you’re also feeling a little stuck in the January rut, take a moment to write down everything you’ve done this week, even the little things. Tiny steps lead to bigger ones, and it’s all progress, no matter how small.

  • I really needed this post! I’ve suddenly felt like because it’s a new year, I suddenly need to be achieving things and making progress… We’re only a week or so in and I shouldn’t be wanting to rush into anything too soon!

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

  • Such a great idea to write everything down! I know what you mean about this time of year, I’ve been really struggling this week to keep motivated because of the horrible weather and I guess the come-down from all the festivities last month!

    Lynnsay x
    http://www.sartorialscot.com

  • Love love love this post Carrie! You posted it just at the right time too- I’ve been setting goals (or, intentions) for my month, as last year I would put myself down for a goal I didn’t quite reach. This time around, celebrating the little achievements up to that goal will be more important as like you said, it’s progress. x

    Kyia at WANDERLUSTGIRL// Lifestyle & Beauty
    Let’s be BLOGLOVIN friends!

  • Even the smallest things should be celebrated, I think <3

  • It’s always wise to remember the smaller achievements. I’ve been known to add things to my to-do list that I’ve already done, just so I can mark them as done. It’s good to know you can have wee successes every day 🙂

    Honestly Aine

  • charlotte samantha

    I loved reading this post, we definitly put too much pressure on ourselves to try and achieve things we just sometime’s cant! I cant wait to see what 2017 holds for you lovely

    CharlotteSamantha

  • It did me so much good to read this post. I always feel so inspired and productive at the start of January and it’s hard not to feel frustrated when all of those things you promised yourself you’d do have fallen by the wayside because you’re too tired to do anything but series binge after a long day at work. The small achievements should definitely be celebrated and hey, you’ve gone a week longer than me without any wine 😉
    http://www.moonandforest.co.uk

  • I feel like I’m also experiencing a January rut because of my Christmas break. Maybe I should’ve been fully productive during my Christmas break. However, we all deserve these lazy days. They’re pretty good for us unless we couldn’t control it. Haha! You’re definitely right! Small or big, progress is still progress. Happy new year to you! 🙂

    Augustin Ra / Indie Spirit

  • After being cooped up in my house for the past 5 days completing a univerisity essay that I *may* have left to the last minute, I was in dire need of this post!

    I’ve been beating myself up over the lack of productivity over the past few days, but I suppose I have just written a 3000 word university essay that is due in tomorrow, so I didn’t waste my time completely. I need to remember this more! xx

    http://www.one-more-slice.com/

  • Thank you for sharing this. I’ve also felt like i’ve just been stuck this week, not knowing what to do or start next, yet alone how to do it and when this happens it does tend to demotivate me a lot which is just horrible. I love the quote “Rome wasn’t built in a day” it really does help lift your spirits. xx

    Imaan | http://itsmissh.blogspot.co.za

  • I like your way of looking at this – and it does sounds like you had a LOT of success actually, so I’m glad that you were able to realise it after listing it all down! I’m off to buy a cheap journal at lunch time today so that I can jot down similar things throughout the day.

    Congrats on completing your tax return – I dread doing mine every year, and while I’ve filed this year’s one, I’m already anticipating the apprehension I feel about doing my 2016-2017 return… I’ll bite the bullet and do it in April so it’s not hanging over my head!

    Flora

    http://www.theeverchanginghome.com

  • I love this. The start of this year has been much harder than I had imagined it would be. 2016 was such a struggle for me. So much heartache. I kept telling myself that once 2017 came around, all would be good. Obviously, the world does not work that way and I’m still struggling. But, it does get better each day, if only a little.