“Don’t look back. That’s not where you are going.” Those are the wise words of Shirley T. Burke, motivational speaker and my good friend. She is referring to looking back at your past. I completely agree with that statement when trying to move ahead in life. However, when I was shoveling snow yesterday, looking back actually helped me keep going.
Shoveling snow is one of those really boring, exhausting tasks that can be overwhelming. If I looked forward I felt overwhelmed by how much there was to do. But, if I looked back I could see and celebrate the progress that I had made. I got through the shoveling by glancing forward for a few seconds every now and then to keep my eye on my goal. Most of my time was spent with my head town shoveling and looking back at my progress. The success I’d already achieved motivated me to keep going.
The same strategy can be used for any big task you must do.
- Set your sights on your goal.
- Manage your overwhelm and negative thoughts like, “I’ll never get this done,” or “It’s just too much,” by only occasionally glancing at the distance to the finish line.
- Keep your head down and work.
- Frequently look back to notice how much you have gotten done.
- Celebrate your success and keep moving forward.
You too can strategically look back to manage overwhelm and motivate yourself to move forward on any task, even boring tasks like shoveling snow.