Recently on a podcast the host said the phrase “up and to the right.” She was referring to the progress made by her premie baby – born at 27 weeks. Although there are minutes and hours along the way that aren’t great, and also huge moments of terror, the general progress of her baby was “up and to the right.” Full credit for the phrase to Amy Jo Martin of the “Why Not Now?” podcast. You can find more information and listen to her podcast HERE.
This phrase has not left me since then because I find it shockingly so true. Especially after my last blog “Would you work 28 years for a goal?” I can look back and say that generally I was trending “up and to the right” with my pull up goal. But it took 28 years and most of those years felt like a somewhat downward trend. When in reality, it was probably a slight uptick to the right.
Image credit – HERE.
If you look at this graph, the trend is up but there are many times where it drops (some more dramatic than others). If we quit working towards what we want when we’re in a down trend, we may miss out.
Let’s look at some examples through different parts of our lives:
- Health – You get upset one week because you ate an entire tub of Sweet Martha’s cookies at the State Fair so you just give up on your health goal entirely.
- Gym – You were sick with the flu for a week and decided never to set foot back in the gym because you had been gone for a week and clearly lost all of your progress.
- Business – You have a lower revenue month so you decide the entire business isn’t worth it and you quit.
- Relationships – You have a fight with your significant other and give up on everything.
Did you laugh a little at these examples because they seemed extreme? I did as I was writing them but I also laughed because this is the mindset trap I sometimes get caught up in which is “well I guess since X didn’t work, I will give up on the whole thing.”
When the reality is – it’s a drop along the way but you are still trending “up and to the right.”
Let’s look at these examples again with a wider “up and to the right” lens.
- Health – You get upset one week because you ate an entire tub of Sweet Martha’s cookies at the State Fair so you just give up on your health goal entirely. You dramatically changed your eating habits five years ago, lowered your blood pressure, decreased your glucose, are sleeping better at night, and have consistently eaten well *most* of the time for the last five years. Still trending up and to the right.
- Gym – You were sick with the flu for a week and decided never to set foot back in the gym because you had been gone for a week and clearly lost all of your progress. You started going to the gym 6 months ago, have gone consistently 3x per week, your family started joining you and your joints feel so much better. Still trending up and to the right.
- Business – You have a lower revenue month so you decide the entire business isn’t worth it and you quit. Your entire yearly revenue is still higher than the previous year to date even with a lower month. Still trending up and to the right.
- Relationships – You have a fight with your significant other and give up on everything and decide you are probably going to get a divorce. You have navigated difficult situations before in your 10 year history, what makes this one “the end?” Still trending up and to the right.
Life can be so overwhelming that at any moment a bump in the road sometimes feels like the end. And to be very clear – many moments in life are dramatic, huge, life changing moments that really may feel like you’re going backwards. But if you pick yourself up from where you’re at and take one small step to keep moving “up and to the right” then you’ll be ok.
This also can apply to daily life and big goals. I want to share some funny examples from my life.
Goal – clean my car.
Small step – gather up the loose items and bring them in. Worry about vacuuming and wiping down later.
Goal – clean the kitchen.
Small step – empty the dishwasher. Do the rest of the dishes later.
Goal – hit a monthly revenue number
Small step – reach out to one person per day and know the process will get me there.
Goal – Do 10 full push ups
Small step – practice and complete 10 push ups every day.
I can feel overwhelmed by getting to the “top” of a goal and breaking stuff down into small “wins” that keep me moving up and to the right is so much more motivating. It also builds so much momentum.
If you struggle with feeling like you’re not making progress, make yourself a chart so you can see if you are still trending in the right direction.
My guess is – you’re still going to the right and also up – even if it’s ever so slight.
And the most important message is this – EVERYONE feels the same way. You’re not the only one who has setbacks or struggles.
Tell me – what road blocks along the way make you feel like you’re going down and not up??? EMAIL me.
LISTEN TO EPISODE 124 HERE