Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Remembering the Journey

Life’s a journey. Pretty simple and straightforward, right?

It’s easy to forget sometimes. I think we get so focused on achieving our goals, that we forget to enjoy getting there. We forget that the achievement of those goals aren't the end, but the beginning.

I was reminded of this yesterday. I was in my Sculpt & Burn class and we were doing baselines for the new month so we could gauge our progress at the end of the month. I knew I wouldn’t do as well as some of the other ladies there, but I expected to do better than I did.

I’ve been working steadily at becoming healthier and more active. To that end, I’ve been watching what I eat, eating more fruits and veggies, drinking more water, going to this exercise class 2x (now 3x) a week and walking 3 miles on the other days. I’ve been doing this for over two months.

Well, I sucked. Big time. The frustration, and yes, the shame, that I couldn’t do more sit-ups and push-ups than I did overcame me and I cried like a big baby in front of everyone in the class.

I have to say, here and now, that the ladies in that class and my instructor, Sarah, are the most awesome people and I’m so blessed to be sharing my journey with them. Anyway, I continued on with the class and at the end, Sarah reminded me that this is a journey.

Sure, I couldn’t do as many of the exercises as I’d have liked, but she reminded me of what I had accomplished. That I needed to be patient. That I needed to keep working at it.

As I thought about her words on the way home, I realized that it’s easy to get frustrated in the pursuit of our goals, regardless of what they may be. In our writing, we’d like to get published sooner, write more words each week, etc. In our quest for a healthier lifestyle, we’d like to lose weight faster, get stronger faster, etc.

When we are this focused on the end result, we tend to miss the little joys along the way. In our writing, it might be the story that the plot falls into place for us, our critique partner loved one of our characters, an editor may have rejected our story but they took the time to tell us why and how we could improve. In getting healthier, it might be walking up 3 flights of stairs without getting winded, going deeper into our lunges and squats, turning to a piece of fruit when you want something sweet instead of chocolate.

Starting today, I’ve got a new goal to go along with all those others I’ve got written down. To take time each week to appreciate the little things that makes the journey so special. To make a list of the things I’ve accomplished. I’m sure I’ll get frustrated again, but when I do, I’ll take out that list and remind myself to enjoy the journey.

What about you? Do you ever forget to enjoy the journey? How do remind yourself?


Suzanne said...

Awesome post! I think you're right--I know I'm guilty of it. I'm so busy looking ahead that I don't stop and see what's around me and how incredibly blessed I am in so many ways. Thanks for the nice reminder :-)

Lynne Roberts said...

This is a wonderful post! There is always another goal, after all, life is the journey.

Thank you.

Bianca Swan said...

The rocky journey. Each rejection paralyzes me for a couple of days, but each contract inspires me to go on. I would anyway I love to write. Enjoyed this post muchly!

Carly Carson said...

Good post Riley. Don't get discouraged. Also, remember everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. I'm not very flexible and I know most people could do better than me at yoga and such. But, I keep stretching (which I hate to do). What's the alternative? I'll get even less flexible.

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