Enjoy the journey?

How do you "enjoy the journey"?

I've heard people advocate this message many times. Today, I'm questioning it.

I'm not questioning if "enjoying the journey" is a good idea. I mean, who DOESN'T want to enjoy the journey? I'm just wondering how. And, why don't I?


It's the beginning of the year, so, I instinctively start making goals/plans. Maybe it's from years of being told to make New Years resolutions. Typically I avoid this kind of thing. But, I have a few goals for 2018. I think they're reasonable, just the right amount of challenge, and generally, a good idea.

And, already, one week into January, I'm annoyed that I don't see any progress being made and feel overwhelmed at the prospect of reaching my goals.

I've never been very good at goals. I've made lots of plans, resolutions, challenges and then NOT KEPT THEM FOR EVEN ONE DAY. I'm really good at not sticking with my goals. It's like, as soon as I make them, I feel this rebellious desire to break them. Rule-following is not my forte. 

I have lots of friends who love sticking to their plans. They aren't easily discouraged and they see everything as a learning experience. That's not me.

But, I have these goals this year that I want to stick to. So, I'd like to, not only reach them, but enjoy the journey. Which leads me back to my original question, how do you enjoy the journey?

I guess I have to ask myself why I DON'T enjoy it? I think it goes back to something I've thought a lot about (in regard to weight loss). And that is, "I won't be happy until I reach my goal". Okay, this is false. And so obviously wrong it seems, well, obvious.

So, to state the obvious: If I believe I can't be fully happy until I reach my goal, I'm missing out on a lot of happiness in the meantime.

In the past, I think I've taken this as a liberty to back off on my goals. You know, relax, don't stress, let go. And, those things are good. But, I think I can keep making decisions that get me to my goals, AND, enjoy the process.

But the process is the hard part. It's self-discipline, making new habits, trying new things, pushing myself. This is not very enjoyable. In fact, it can be really hard. How do I enjoy something that is really hard?

I think this is the solution: Keep my eye on the prize. Really want it. Know WHY I want it. As I'm doing those unpleasant disciplines, picture myself already having achieved the goal.

And I KNOW that it will take time, regular effort, growth, discipline. I will decide NOW how I'm going to respond when challenges arise. I'll have a plan. 

I'll remember that every set-back is followed by a blessing. Every blessing is followed by a set-back. It's okay. It's part of the process. Enjoy it.

And, I think that's how I'll enjoy the journey.

Kate HagenComment