I sometimes wonder if younger me would be proud of what I've accomplished so far in life. But then I am reminded of how I have yet to see many of my aspirations fulfilled. The older I get, the more pressured I become to "have it all together." There is so much of me that I am still working on. I unapologetically identify myself as a work in progress. And I have been making progress and improving, but the progress has been slow.

It's easy to get discouraged when we see others accomplishing their goals and it's easy to begin doubting ourselves. But progress is progress. Regardless of when you achieve your goals, it often takes baby steps to get there. And you should aim to continually progress and improve.

Let's use me as an example.

Ten years ago, I had my entire life planned out: graduate from NYU; intern at a magazine and land my dream job; live in New York; get married by the age of twenty five; so on and so forth.

I laugh at it all now.

Plans tend to never go the way we imagined. And that's okay. Just because you don't marry or have kids at a certain age, that doesn't qualify you as a failure. You've only failed if you give these self-imposed rules the permission to deter you from becoming a better you.

Life is so much more than reaching a goal, it's also about the progress you've made.

Reminisce on where you came from and celebrate in how far you've come. Stop comparing your progress to someone else's progress.

You can only go at your pace.

I am returning to undergrad this fall for the fifth (and final) time to get my Bachelors. I self published my first book this past April and I am currently working on my second book. My finances have improved since last year and I paid off three credit cards in the past six months.

Of course, I want to acknowledge my achievements but I also want to acknowledge all the progress I have made (and am currently making) along the way. Because I have yet to obtain my Bachelors degree, I have yet to have my writing published in a magazine, and I have yet to restore my credit score. But the woman I am today is not the same woman I was last year. And hopefully, the woman I am today will not be the woman I will be next year. Progress is imperative to our growth. And progress is still progress. Baby steps still count.