Worksheet: Looking Back, Looking Ahead


Have you ever worked towards a goal, only to feel like you can never arrive at the ‘endpoint?’

Say you want to lose weight… and you do. But you keep thinking, ‘just 10 pounds more.’

Or you run a marathon… but can’t help wishing your PB was a little lower.

Or you get a raise… but you’ve already started gunning for the next promotion.

Sound familiar? If you love progress, but feel like the end point— that perfect, happy place where you’ve finally ‘made it’—feels never-ending, you’re not alone.

Progress is like a horizon. As we strive to improve, we run towards that horizon. Yet the horizon is an imaginary line: we can never reach it.

If we forget that simple fact, it’s easy to get frustrated, tired, or burned out. We never get there. “There” is imaginary.

So how do you evaluate progress in a positive and proactive way?

First you need to look back. See where you started. Notice the strides you’ve taken. Use distance you’ve already traveled as your true measure of progress.

Then you need to look ahead. Think about where you’re going and plot out your next moves to ensure success.

To use this worksheet, either print off this document or write directly in the pdf.

First, fill out the questions about your progress. Next, fill out the ones about what’s coming next.

And no matter where you net out, give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.

Five questions to ask yourself about your progress so far:

QUESTION #1: What have you put the most effort into during the last few weeks?

If you’ve been showing up, even just a little, it means you’ve been working on something. So jot that down and remind yourself of where your focus and energy has been.

QUESTION #2: What are you most proud of from the last few weeks?

Here we’re looking for daily wins. Like having a good breakfast on your busiest morning. Or making a smart eating decision in a tricky situation. You’ve done something to be proud of. Now’s the time to call it out.

QUESTION #3: How will you high-five yourself for the great work (in a healthy way)?

Think about how you’ll celebrate your progress, even if it’s just a small reward that supports your goals.

QUESTION #4: What more would you have liked to accomplish?

Everyone thinks this kinda stuff…coulda, woulda, shoulda. Let’s get it down on paper, and then let it go. Write down what you wanted to get done… but didn’t

QUESTION #5: What next thing can you do to move past what you think you ‘should’ have done, and keep you moving forward?

Think about the next step you can take, right now, to stay on track.

Four questions to ask yourself about what’s coming next:

QUESTION #1: Looking ahead to the next few weeks, what are you most looking forward to?

In other words, what are you excited about? Looking forward to? Ready to tackle?

QUESTION #2: Knowing what you’re about to work on, what advantages do you think you have that’ll make progress more likely?

Tune into your own unique abilities. What ‘superpowers’ do you have that can help you in your efforts?

QUESTION #3: Knowing what’s coming up in the next few weeks, what things are likely to stand in your way?

Consider the things that might prevent your progress.

QUESTION #4: How can you prepare, right now, to make sure those things don’t get in your way?

Having listed things that might stand in your way, think about how you’ll prevent them from sabotaging you. How can you avoid obstacles before they happen?