Updated: October 03, 2012

Progress motivates you to keep exercising. I always vaguely knew this, but I never realized how powerful achievements can be until today. I have adhesive capsulitis, a thickening of the capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint and causes pain and immobility. Twice a week, my physical therapist puts me through a half-hour of stretches and exercises and then measures how high I can raise my arm. Two weeks ago, I was at 100 degrees forward (a little higher than my shoulder) and 70 degrees out to the side (just below my shoulder). Today I reached 110 and 80 degrees respectively. Woo-hoo! I was so excited I almost hugged my therapist (I went in for an awkward high-five instead). It may only be 10 degrees, but it's progress-and proof that my physical therapy and daily exercises are paying off.

What have you achieved in your workouts lately? I'm not talking about the big stuff (like finishing a 10K)-think small: Maybe you shaved 10 seconds off your mile, started doing curls with 10-pounders, or powered through a hill during group-cycling class (without touching that dial!) Whatever your mini-milestone, acknowledge it and celebrate it... you're one step closer to your fitness goal.

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