I wasn’t going to select ‘Joy’ or ‘Journey’ for my ‘J’ word in the AtoZ Guide to Thriving in Life, then I saw this quote and it made me think.
Sometimes in life, we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find the joy in the journey” – President Dieter F Uchtdorf
I am a goal-oriented person and I like to have my plans and goals set down so I can start working towards achieving them. Having goals or dreams in life gives us a purpose and meaning to our life and helps us to grow as individuals. It is important to have something to look forward to in life.
However, the downside of setting goals and dreams is that sometimes we focus so much on reaching the end result that we don’t take the time to enjoy each moment leading up to our achievement.
Focusing on the ‘finish line’ can become stressful and we can become impatient if it is taking longer to achieve our end point. The ‘journey’ becomes a chore and you just want to get it over and done with. Having this mindset takes the enjoyment out of each step towards your goal.
In reality, it is the journey we need to take on our path to achieving, where we gain the most benefit and learn the lessons to improve and enjoy our life.
Why we need to find the Joy in the Journey
1. Build Self-Belief
When I set a goal I always break it down into steps that I need to take to achieve it. By taking ‘baby steps’ and progressing forward you build self-esteem, self-confidence and gain motivation to continue. At each step that we tick off, take a moment to enjoy the feeling of achieving that step. Take a moment to ‘high-five’ yourself and feel good about yourself and your ability.
2. Enjoy the moment
When I was running my first marathon, I was training hard and yes, sometimes I felt like giving up. If I took the focus off the fact that I needed to run 42.2kms and concentrated on the moment I would have enjoyed training more. Each extra kilometer that I added would have been an achievement to celebrate. Each small celebration would have made me feel happy with my determination and commitment and motivated to keep going.
3. Each Step is an opportunity to learn
Running a marathon is not just about running the distance. Through my training experience:
- I learned about eating nuritious food to keep me ‘fueled’ and energised to run further and for longer periods.
- I learned the importance of mixing up my training to include yoga or strength training apart from my scheduled runs.
- I learned the importance of keeping hydrated and drinking more water.
- I learned that my mental strength was much stronger than I had realised.
- I learned to feel the ‘buzz’ after a good workout and to feed off my improvements.
- I also learned that you need to be flexible with your plans because sometimes life and responsibilites can get in the way.
- I learned that support from my husband was important
- I learned that training with others is much easier and I was grateful for my Saturday Sisters so I run with.
I’m using my marathon experience as an example, however, you can relate it to any goal you are working towards.
By taking the time to explore and enjoy your journey you develop life skills and experiences. Sometimes we don’t actually achieve our goal or it might take several attempts. By focusing on finding joy and happiness in our journey we build a solid foundation to be able to take on future goals with a more positive mindset.
I did achieve my goal and yes the feeling as I crossed the finish line was one of elation as well as exhaustion! I learned that I could do anything I set my mind to!
Do you have a dream or goal? Can you add anything to three points I’ve raised to find the joy in the journey?
Remember to enjoy each moment along the way to make the final destination even more fulfilling.
In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘K’ is for Key – You are hold the key to thriving in life. I do hope you will join me.
You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series. In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.
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Let’s Keep Sizzling!