Do you know where your goals went?

It’s mid May – nearly half way through the year. How are you doing on getting your goals accomplished?

Are you ahead of schedule? Are you behind? Have you forgotten what they are? Or did you give up already? And how are you measuring or tracking your progress?

It’s funny how we think things need to move in a linear fashion – as if the fulfillment of our goals was always going to look like an upward sloping line on a graph – a nice angle always heading upward. But how often does that happen in real life? And is it even a valid line for us to use?

Isn’t it more like up and then down and then up and then up and then down and then flat – and then repeat all over? Or am I the only one who measures progress one step forward and two steps back? It’s hard to break the habit of thinking ‘it’s half way through the year, I should be half way to accomplishing the goal.’

But should you be that far really? What if instead you looked at your progress like compounding? Or use the example of doubling a penny each day for 30 days.

At the end of 15 days (halfway through the month) you have $163.84.

At day 20 you have $2,621.44, at day 25 you have $167,772.16, at day 29 you have $2,684,354.56.

And at day 30 you have $5,368,709.12.

So, half way through the month your total was $163.84 – or .0031% of your final total. Is that any reason to give up on achieving the goal? It is certainly hard to imagine that if you continue on taking the actions (doubling the penny) that you could possibly end up with $5.3 Million in just 15 more days.

Graphing this shows a little progress all along the way and then, all of a sudden, the line curves up very sharply (breakthrough).

Here’s the point. Don’t give up! Keep moving forward. Even the two steps back part of the the result gives you valuable information to apply going forward.

Which would you rather have? $163.84? Or $5,368,709.12?

(For those of you in the Northern Virginia area – Join me on June 18 for a mid-year goals workshop. Information available at my website, on the events page.)


  1. What a beautifully vivide example of why not to give up on your dreams. Thank you, Terry! XO Katherine
    Life Blossoming Systems

  2. Terry – Love the money analogy! It takes something ethereal and hard to measure and makes it really relate-able and measurable. 🙂 – Carmen

  3. It is so true, it is not a linear path!

    The trick is remembering this during the process.
    Love your post Terry

  4. Terry, this is brilliant. I’m a linear person and drive myself nuts with it. I simple hate backward steps. Now you have given me a brand new way to see it. What I have done and learned since last November when I decided to breathe new life into a dead business (purposely), is nothing less than remarkable and you have helped me see that! I love compounding interest with our investments, why not my progress??!!

  5. Terri Cook says:

    It’s so true – stay focussed on the goal the pathway will be as direct as it needs to be to fully support you in journey to get there

    wonderful Stuff Terry

    Joy & Blessings


  6. Kiyla Fenell says:

    If your needing a show of hands…I’ll take the $5,368,709:).

  7. Great illustration Terry!
    Dr. Robert Fenell
    Repetitive Strain Injuries

  8. Thanks so much for the reminder, Terry! I love the penny example – really brings it home.

  9. Lisa Manyon says:

    Goals are so important and your encouragement to never give up is much needed. Many people become frustrated because the pathway to achieving goals doesn’t look like first envisioned it would. That’s why it’s vital to be gentle on ourselves, celebrate successes and give ourselves permission to take a different course to get our desired outcome if applicable (instead of giving up).

    Thanks for sharing.

    Write on!~


  10. Haha I am literally the only reply to this incredible read.

  11. Phil Dyer says:

    Progress, not perfection! Thanks for a great reminder, Terry!


    PS – I am so stealing that money example!

    • ofyl says:

      LOL Phil – go ahead and steal it. While I had heard the example, I did not remember the numbers. Excel is my friend.

  12. Jenny Fenig says:

    Thank YOU for this powerful reminder. It’s SO easy to want to throw in the towel when we don’t get INSTANT results … but it’s all about planting seeds, watering them and having faith that they’ll grow.

    Breathing a sigh of relief already …


  13. Great article – love the title really hooked me!
    It is so true that we expect a linear path and then get disappointed along the way – right before we’re just about to turn the corners and take the final step of achievement
    Heidi Alexandra

  14. Mitch Tublin says:

    Thank you for your reminder to everyone. Halfway through the year is not a time to give up. Instead it is time to focus, plan and get re-energized.
    All The Best,

  15. I sure wish I was in Virginia to attend your mid-year goals workshop in 2 weeks. Sounds like fun! Thanks for the inspiration and reminder to keep moving forward.