When you’re trying to get out of debt it can sometimes be very frustrating to not see the kind of progress you were hoping for.
And it feels even worse when you do make some progress and then — bam! — you have a setback.
But you know what? Sometimes we need to remember that ANY progress is a step in the right direction.
Maybe you finally built-up that thousand dollar emergency fund and you’re feeling really good about things. But then you have an emergency and you tap into that fund.
When you take the money out it can feel like you’ve just lost all that time and momentum that you spent a long time building up. Maybe you feel like there’s no point, or you like you’re never going to get ahead.
But the truth is you ARE making progress. Even in situations like that where it doesn’t feel like it.
Taking a closer look at progress
The truth is that any progress is forward progress. You weren’t wasting your time or energy, even though your emergency fund was depleted.
Take a closer look at what actually happened.
Step back and consider what would’ve happened if you hadn’t built-up that emergency fund, and then had an emergency. In that case, you would have been even further behind — or maybe you wouldn’t have been able to pay your bills or deal with the emergency at all.
But because you took the time and energy and effort to plan ahead, you’re actually in better shape now than you would have been pre-emergency fund.
And that’s progress.
Celebrate the smallest steps
You have to learn to celebrate even the tiniest steps forward because they are improvements
Any progress is forward progress. Make that your mantra. Sometimes even no progress is progress, because at least you aren’t making things worse. Even falling behind less slowly then you used to fall behind can be progress.
To reach a long-term goal or deal with difficult situations you have to focus on whatever forward motion you can find at all. Celebrate it, and see it for what it is: a step in the right direction.
And when you get down, talk to other people who get it: people who are going through the same thing and heading in the same debt-free direction. Talk with people who are already there, too, and know that you’ll get there one day too. Open up, share, and celebrate every small step.
Any progress is forward progress. And eventually, those small steps lead to big wins.