It’s Okay to Look Back


by Kelsey Davidson

Lately I’ve seen many articles and social media posts talking about moving forward, and how you should “never look back.” I’m here to rebel against that mentality, and suggest that looking back can be a good thing.

Your life may have sped up to an uncontrollable pace, to the point where you find yourself asking: “What did I do yesterday?” You’ve been fed the message that slowing down, pausing or looking back will hinder your success. But it’s exactly the opposite. That’s why I’m asking you to look back.

How can you celebrate your success without celebrating the determination it took from you? How can you appreciate the commitment you made without looking back on those long morning runs or the evening hill repeats? How can you acknowledge your finish line, if you can’t reminisce about how your training was such a grind?

For example, remember those 6:00 a.m. runs in the winter? They were hard, I know they were! But guess what? They taught you something. They taught you commitment and willpower to succeed. Remember pushing your stroller while your wee one napped? You showed yourself that you are worth it, and proved that you can be a healthy and fit parent.

Instead of powering through every workout and never looking back, look back on the lessons you’ve learned. Look back and celebrate the obstacles you’ve overcome. Look back and appreciate the elevation you gave yourself. You are where you are because you believed in yourself. You may not have seen it until now, but this is the time to start acknowledging your efforts and their impact.

Making It Happen
Here are 3 practices to help  guide you in looking back:

1. Keep a fitness journal.
After every workout, take down a few notes about who you were with, what you did, what you enjoyed, what was brutal. Write it in a paper journal or input it into your phone. I love revisiting my notes to see that when I started with two sets of stairs, I felt my legs were on fire, and now I’m doing eight sets and could go longer!

2. Check your stats once a month.
There’s no harm in looking back on the data of your strength or cardio training to see how far you’ve come. It may give you a good ego boost and motivate you to have a great workout.

3. Celebrate your progress.
Set miniature goals within your large goal and celebrate them. Have a rest day to reward your mind, body and spirit. Anticipate the celebration, don’t skip it, and make sure it’s a good one.


Kelsey Davidson is a certified life coach, experienced fitness professional and founder of her own consulting practice called Alive Fitness and Wellness. (Bio photo: Jenifer Sander Photography).


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