When you set yourself a clear goal, focus on it and move towards it. Take small, progressive steps if necessary, but never look back to the place from where you started.

Where you started was a place of unhappiness.

Whether you were broke, depressed or flabby, the reason you had a goal was to move away and leave that particular fate behind you.

The journey towards reaching and smashing any goal is tough. Along the way you’re going to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, confused or even bored. It’s in these moments, you’ll want to take a mental break, look back and determine what progress you’ve made.

Don’t do it…it’s the kiss of death.

Life Is Movement, Not Stagnation

Imagine you jump into the ocean from a sinking ship. In the distance, you spot land. It’s a long way away but your survival skills kick in and you start swimming for all you’re worth

After a while, you feel tired so you take a moment to tread water and look back and see how much distance you’ve covered. Instead of getting a rewarding sense that all the paddling was worth it, you experience despair: you’ve hardly covered any distance at all.

Sensing defeat, your willpower diminishes and any fighting chance you held onto that you’d make land fades.

Don’t Be Afraid of Going Slow, Be Afraid of Stopping

Looking back on any journey you’ve started enables you to see how far you’ve come. This gives you an immediate sense of satisfaction.

But it’s a false feeling.

Whether you mentally reflect on the past or physically turn your head, looking back is always bad news because it stops you in your tracks and takes your attention away from where it is needed.

This lapse in focus hurls a huge obstacle in your path and makes the challenge of reaching your goal a lot tougher. Right up until the finish line, your progress will never be far enough.

You’ll always see how far you are from where you started – not how much closer you are to where you’re advancing to.

The Key to Accomplishing Any Goal

The difference between achieving and quitting is, typically, thin.

Keep your eyes on the prize. Looking back will sap your mental focus and drain you of the same emotional energy you actually need to get to your goal.

When you’re doing your best work your mind will be quiet, a silent witness. Hence, focus your entire attention on your what you’re aiming for. Even if it seems miles away. You’ll know when you’re moving towards it because, ironically, you’ll want to look back.


Those who run away from things will never put enough distance between themselves and their fear. Those who strive for new fortunes will forget the past.

Big goals give you direction, something to head toward. It’s smaller goals that actually get you there.

If your goal seems too audacious, or you feel exhausted, change your perspective. Scale down and focus your attention on what’s happening immediately in front of you.

Here’s what I mean – if you’re keen to lose weight concentrate on shedding the next pound rather than getting into that outfit. If you want to make a million dollars, focus on the next buck rather than the stack of fifties. And if you’re swimming to a rock in the sea, just put your attention on the on the next stroke.

If you can’t look ahead and would rather not see what’s in front of you, close your eyes, but keep moving. Just don’t look back: all that is waiting for you there is the desire to quit.

As long as your direction is true, get your head down and keep moving because you’re in great shape. You’ll reach and smash all your goals. When you drag yourself over the finish line, then, and only then, is the time to look back with a sense of satisfaction.

Marcus Oakey

Marcus is an author, consultant and entrepreneur. He divides his time between writing, mentoring global leaders in the science of charisma and a borderline obsession with the lost art of mind mastery.