Success VS the Journey
Often times during a journey we tend to focus on how much of it is left.
Think of a long road trip with kids constantly asking “Are we there yet?”
Think of running a race and wondering how many miles are left to complete.
Think of paying down your car loan and checking each month to see how much of the balance is left.
We always focus on what we have left to do. How much more time until _____. How much more money until _____. How much more effort until ____. How many years are left until _______.
It’s no different with health and fitness. We are constantly wondering how many calories we have left to eat today or how many reps until we get to be done with the set. We wonder how many pounds we have left to lose.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this thinking. In fact, it’s probably some built-in human mechanism. You know, kind of like the flight or fight response.
I guess the thing I want to talk about is what we so often forget… our journey so far. In other words, how we got here.
Often our perspective on our journey is much like driving. We spend much more time looking ahead than we do checking the rear view mirror. Our focus is on where we need to go and little consideration is given to how far we’ve come.
Specifically, the small wins and successes that we accomplished that rarely get noticed let alone celebrated.
I often see this when a client has a set goal. For example, I’m thinking of a particular client that had a 50 pound weight loss goal. After her first 2 weeks or so she had lost 5 pounds of fat, but she couldn’t see this success.
She only saw that she had 45 pounds left to lose.
She could only see what was left of the journey and not what she had already accomplished. But if we stop for just a moment and think about this… this woman had done the hard work and had lost 5 pounds of fat.
She accomplished this.
When I stopped and talked with her about this, she got a little teary and said “I didn’t really think of this as a success. I only see that I have a lot of pounds left to lose.”
This is one thing I wish I could change about personal training and the fitness industry. I wish the successes were noticed more so than they are. As I’m sure you’d agree, it’s much easier to put on 5 pounds than lose 5 pounds.
Sometimes having someone there to remind you of just how much work you’ve done, or just how much you accomplished is so important during the journey.
If we’re constantly missing the successes, it makes the journey long, hard, and truth be told… kind of boring. No wonder people quit their health and fitness routine after a week or two.
There’s no joy in constantly feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything significant.
So the next time you find yourself lamenting on just how much is left until you reach your goals, I want you to think of how far you’ve already come and celebrate those milestones.