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Why is it important to have gratitude for the progress you’ve made?

Highly motivated people always seem to be moving forward. They use goal-setting to map out their future and challenge themselves to achieve more.

The tendency to push forward comes naturally - psychologists call it action bias: the inclination to act in order to have control over one’s life. This instinct is necessary and results in progress being made. However, according to researchers, taking the time to stop and look back can have an astonishing positive effect on your forward motion.

Why Reflect?

Reflection is an instrumental part of making progress. When you utilize reflection effectively, it can help you develop a sense of gratitude for your journey and the successes you’ve already had.

Self-reflection allows you the opportunity to evaluate how far you’ve come. When you pause to consider where you began and compare it to where you currently are, you may be amazed at the progress you’ve made.

Reflection also allows you to make course corrections as necessary. You may notice areas where you could have reacted differently, situations that could have been avoided or problems that could have been solved more efficiently. By identifying these areas, you can learn to recognize them in the future and improve your responses.

The Power of Gratitude

As you reflect on your journey, it will help you develop a sense of awareness for the interactions and influences in your life. You may become aware of specific individuals or situations that played a role in helping you move forward.

The experiences that you had, both good and bad, helped to shape you into the person you are. It can change your perspective of the hard times and encourage you to push forward even when things get difficult in the future.

Recognize the Role Others Play in Your Success

No one reaches success without help. As you reflect on the journey to your goals, you may notice the important part that others played in your success. They most likely include:

Friends and family who encouraged you to pursue your goals, mentors who guided you and counseled you through difficult decisions, co-workers or employees who helped you finish projects, and managers who encouraged you to take a professional leap into a new position. 

This awareness should motivate you to share your success with them and thank them for their help in your achievement. In addition, it should inspire you to do the same for others.

Improve Your Health

Research suggests that gratitude can affect your mental and physical health. The hypothalamus, the region in your brain that controls body functions such as eating and sleeping, is affected by the dopamine that results from feelings of gratitude. Gratitude can increase your metabolism and decrease your stress. The result? You sleep better and feel better.

Have you developed a sense of gratitude for the progress you’ve made? Schedule time for self-reflection regularly. Pick up a copy of The Currency of Gratitude to learn more about the positive effects gratitude can have on your life. 

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