You may have noticed that I like to cite definitions of things to make a point. In particular, I enjoy reflecting on the ideas which make up words. So here’s today’s word: progress.

Someone might ask how your “fitness thing” is going, and you might respond with, “It’s okay – I’m making progress.” At some level, the impression is that progress is a good thing. The point I want to make here is that the idea of “progress” embodies movement toward an objective. Random or haphazard movement is not “progress”; progress is headed somewhere.

We have talked before about developing a vision of yourself, establishing goals, and then striking out toward those goals. By definition, if you are moving toward a goal, you are making progress.

Each day’s activity in a challenge like this may seem inconsequential. But if you regard your daily activities that way, you are missing the metaphorical forest for the trees. Add each day’s activity to the activity of the day before, and the day after. After a few days, what you end up with is a steadily-emerging trend. If you are doing things which move you closer to your goal, you are making progress.

I hope I can encourage you to actually see the broader picture which is not, in fact, a static picture as much as it is a dynamic video; it is in motion. Actually, you are in motion, moving toward your objective of improved wellness. Progress can’t really be captured by a picture. I think that is a logical impossibility: pictures (i.e., still images) represent a single point in time, and progress involves motion. So a picture that would represent progress really ought to be blurry.

Try not to just see your activities simply as workout after workout, like single images. That can be discouraging, because you can easily miss the larger context of where you were and where you are going. You need to put the whole deck of activity “pictures” together and flip through them to get the true sense of your progress, of how you are moving toward your goal. When you learn how to sense your own progress, you are well on your way to maintaining an active lifestyle.