Do you ever find yourself so caught up in the “getting there” that you lose track of the joy of the journey? I see this a lot in fitness.
You set a goal: run 10k, lose 10lbs, hike to the top of the mountain…whatever inspires you.
You work hard to prepare. You do the training, you dial in that nutrition, you challenge your body, mind & soul. You sweat. A lot. You prioritize your time & energy to make it happen.
You achieve your goal. It’s a beautiful moment. But not quite as magical as maybe you thought. And you realize that all this time has passed and you’ve rushed through it. And while you’re super proud of your accomplishment, you’re a little underwhelmed.
I call this the “goal achievement trap.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love goals. I live for a great SMART Goal. But don’t get so caught up in the GOAL that you miss out on the joy of the journey. So much more is learned from the journey than from the ONE magical day where you achieve the “end goal.”
I see this at running events a lot. People who do the event, but didn’t really train so much. I love how they march around telling everyone too (like it’s some sort of weird badge of honour). And I suppose it is an accomplishment – to be fit enough to muster through untrained, but I kind of think they missed the point. Because where the lessons arise, where you learn, where you see what you’re REALLY capable of – is in the JOURNEY.
So when you find yourself getting caught in the “goal achievement trap,” take a big step back. Breathe. Remember why you started and why it all matters. And find the JOY in the journey.