Looking back. Should we or shouldn’t we?
Some say you should never look back. Just continue moving forward and leave it all behind. If you have lost 100 pounds or made an unwise financial decision that cost you thousands of dollars, you may say, “I will never look back to those days — that was the old me.” But should we avoid the past?
Progress can be measured from a specific starting point: The first time you stepped on the scale before making the choice to lose weight; the first step toward your first 5K; smoking your last cigarette. Progress may also be evaluated based on emotional changes such as confidence, determination, frustration, perseverance, relief and joy.
When looking back…
We can change our perception from “How much further” to “How far I have come.” Seeing your progress in this manner is a motivator like nothing else. You overcame tears, anger and frustrations but you kept going, all encouraging you to keep moving forward.
We learn from our mistakes. Our mistakes, even though they may be troubling, can be our best teachers preparing us for the road ahead.
We may see trends. What were the causes for regaining weight or quitting your exercise routine? Do you recognize a cycle of stress from work or holidays? Do you find yourself plateauing and giving in? Recognizing the trends may provide insight how to better work with the recurring events rather than letting them steer you off track.
We can evaluate where we did our best. When you know your strengths you can arm yourself with those talents and qualities to manage your weaknesses.
We can learn from others. Ask those who have succeeded in what you are working toward. Their experience can help you avoid the same obstacles that you might encounter along the way and their solutions.
We can teach others. Just as those who guided us, we can share our experiences in the frustration, mistakes and joy with those working toward similar goals.
So yes, you should look back because looking back shows how far you have come.
Sherrie Hebert is a certified personal trainer and Pilates mat and equipment Instructor. She teaches and trains at Performance Pilates and Gold’s Gym of Pocatello. As an established Idaho State Journal columnist, Sherrie has provided health and fitness information and guidance to her readers for over four years.
Contact her at 208-317-5685 or firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her Facebook page, Performance Pilates.