Always Measure Backwards (AMB)

Always Measure Backwards (AMB)

Always Measure Backwards (AMB)

Wow! It’s amazing how quickly this year has already advanced. Today is already day 59/365 – and in nine days I will turn 58. As I reached the end of February – and the end of another year of life – they are great opportunities to reflect on the gains in my life!

It’s so easy to become focused on how far we have to go that we miss the opportunity to celebrate how far we have come! I’ve been discovering that the more I measure backwards, the more confident and motivated I become. I’m also trying to embrace the reality that everything happens for me – not necessarily to me. God is working to accomplish His purposes in me, through me, and all around me. This means I can trust Him – as Paul says, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6) This gives you and me hope!

I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the value of focusing on my gains in Dan Sullivan’s book The Gap and the Gain. I highly recommend it. A few thoughts to consider –

  • “The future isn’t a reality—it’s a projection. And because it’s not reality, it can’t be part of any real measurement of your progress. The only way to measure goals is backwards, against the past. Use the reality of where you currently are and measure backward from there to the reality of where you started.”
  • “An ideal can’t be measured. It’s there for emotional, psychological, and intellectual motivation, but it’s not there for measurement.”
  • “Measuring your own personal progress keeps you out of comparison with others.”

When we don’t see progress in our life or in our ministry, it’s all too easy to burn out, lose hope, and give up. I’ve been there. Progress is the fuel that keeps us moving forward. Progress matters. If we’re not progressing and growing and developing as people, then we’re actually giving up on ourselves.

Let me urge you to focus on the gains. Own your spiritual growth and personal development. Become the leader that you are called to be!

There’s only one way to measure your progress – you measure backward by looking at where you are now compared to where you were before. Let that sink in.

When I look backwards, I am amazed at how far I’ve come in the past year (when I was turning 57). And when I look back even further – I am not the same person I was 10 years ago.

“The more you practice measuring yourself backward,
the more confident and motivated you will become.”

– Dan Sullivan

I’d like to encourage you to join me in always measuring backwards (AMB). It’s time to measure your gains – so pull out your journal and look back on the last 10 years…

  • Where were you 10 years ago?
  • What were you focused on?
  • How did you measure success back then?
  • How has your situation changed?
  • What do you know now that you didn’t know back then?
  • What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the past 10 years?
  • What have been some of your biggest accomplishments and achievements since then?

I’ve done this exercise several times in the past few months, looking back ten years, three years, one year, six months, three months, one month, and even one week. It’s amazing how much progress I see every time I answer these questions. I’m excited to go through these questions again as I reflect on my 57th year – and start my 58th year.

Don’t overcomplicate this. Dan Sullivan is right – “The only way to measure the distance you’ve traveled is by measuring from where you are back to the point where you started.”

Cheering you on!

Dave DeVries
Vinia Executive Director
Contact Me

PS – Let me know if you tried this reflection exercise and how it impacted you.

PSS – If you’d like to take steps to become the leader you are called to be, connect with a coach to help you navigate the challenges as you move forward. Email me and let me know you’d like to work with a coach.

This blog post is from the March 1, 2023 Vinia Newsletter. 

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