The Secret Ingredient to Making Progress

New Year, new resolutions. Oh wait, does it still work? I could look back on the couple of times I did it and it lasted as long as I could remember what I'd written on paper, which means it only lasted about a week, max two.

How long has it lasted for you?

For the past decade of my existence, I didn't make any kind of progress with myself. With deep regret, not only was I stuck in the same mindset, I atrophied. When you leave a hot coffee mug on top of the table for an hour. It wouldn't remain aromatic and inviting, it gets cold. It loses its edge. That's what happened to me.

I didn't even know personal development books exist when I was in college. Mind you, I was a working student in the library back in those days. What we had on display on those shelves were course-related materials. Also, it was the time before the internet is accessible to all.

But it was no excuse on my part. If you search, you will find it. If you don't, you find nothing.

It was only later, after we move to the US, that I had access to self-improvement books. That's how I learned about the importance of goal-making.

In fact, the Bible also talked about it.

Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint.
~ Proverbs 29:18 (American Standard Version)

Without a clear vision of where you want to go, there's no self-discipline.

The Secret Ingredient to Making Progress
photo source

Vision, goals, is the secret ingredient to making progress and acting on them persistently. These two must go hand in hand.

No wonder resolutions don’t work. It needs a detailed plan on how to execute them, not just wishful thinking of the desired outcome.

I understand that sometimes following a long-term plan can be discouraging especially if we don't see immediate results. That's because we expected to see something tangible like an increase in our incomes, millions of followers, or waking up one day with a model's body.

If they happen, awesome. If not, here's the better expectation. Who do you become in the process?


It has been a year since I got serious with goal-making and acting on them. Of course, it’s an uphill climb.

For anything worth having one must pay the price;
and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice.
~ John Burroughs

Truth be told, I don’t have worldly decorations to show for it. I don’t have millions in my bank. And yes, I remain a run-of-the-mill mother of one.

But looking back, given 2020 has been a difficult time in modern history -- due to Covid-19 -- I could discern the many positive changes in my thought-life. I'm in a better frame of mind than where I was a year ago.

I used to battle chronic depression for two long years. Today, I'm finally free. You might be interested to check out The 7 Ways that Help Me Overcome Depression here.

Goal-making is not just about accomplishing things, it also ushers us to becoming the best/better version of ourselves. And that, to me, is making progress.

the secret ingredient to making progress