I only need to lose 10 more pounds.”
“The next promotion will be the one.”
“I will run a 6min mile.”
“I want that (insert thing here).”
Do any of the above look familiar? We have all heard and probably said something to the effect. Having goals is a great thing. It is important to decide what you want. It is even better to attain it. We always need to remember what we did to attain our goals, objectives, or targets. It’s easy to get swept up in our destination and forget the journey. At the same time, it is easy to solely consider the destination and not respect the journey we are about to embark on, this leads to frustration, self doubt and failure.
When making a goal for self improvement, habitual change, new routine, better health, etc. You are starting a journey. Change is a long and difficult process. If you doubt, think about how hard it is for you to change certain aspects of your life. Whether it be waking up a little earlier, changing a few priorities to make it to the gym or committing to eating better. It is hard. Very hard. Only considering the end result is a fools errand that really misses the best part. Imagine getting on a roller coaster and only looking forward to when you get off at the end. Seems silly, but it is an apt analogy. Our personal journeys will have loops, we will get turned upside down, and sometimes we may even scream, panic, vomit, or all three.
If the destination becomes all important, it trivializes the work we have put into, or will put into attaining it. “All things worth having are worth working hard for,” is a phrase that comes to mind. If the end result is all that matters it is almost arrogant to not respect the effort needed to get there. It will trivialize the work of others who have taken the time to get their as well. We do this because we are frightened. We say things like they have good genes, don’t have to work as hard, its easy for them, they got lucky, etc. I promise none of these are true. People who have attained goals or who are consistently working toward them have committed to the journey, we trivialize their journey to avoid admitting we are too afraid to start our own.
If your destination seems far away, you may never get started if you don’t respect the journey. Most people say the hardest part is the first step. I emphatically call BS. The first step is certainly not easy, but the next step is infinitely more difficult. As your journey towards your goals continues there will be hardship, backtracking, and struggles. Just take the next step. After the initial excitement wears off and you wonder how or why you’ve gotten into this mess as you see your lunch bag with salad next to someone’s fast food. Take the next step. Every little success will urge and push you forward. You will look back and see the footprints and be proud. Take another step. It is OK if you took a wrong turn and circle around, you know this path now and can speed up a little, and you will know to watch out for the fork in the road. You will take another step. Each step you will grow. You will learn what is important. And when you finally reach your destination, you may rest. But I would wager, you will take another step.