Think about something that is your current reality that was once only a dream or a big goal. Once you have that thing in mind, think about how you felt once you got it, and how you feel about it now. There may have been excitement, disbelief, or even a celebration. You may also have learned that it did not bring you the sustained happiness you thought it would, and so you moved on to working toward the next goal or dream.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the destination that we fail to realize that most of the joy takes place in the journey. We spend far more time in the race than we do at the finish line.
What if we reimagined goals or resolutions and all the expectations, highs, and lows that come with them, and instead focused on setting journey intentions?
Here are some strategies to support you in finding the joy in the journey.
Pleasure in the Process. Each week I write a Happy List which includes the things that I have to look forward to that week. As I was preparing to go on vacation, of course the destination made the list, but I also wrote all the little things that I appreciate and enjoy leading up to my arrival. I write things like enjoying happy hour at the airport lounge or watching a movie and having dinner on an upgraded flight. Each morning I write my Eight Great Things List to take note of experiences and people for which I am grateful. This is also an opportunity to capture fun parts of the process like planning the trip and getting a great deal, or appreciating the stellar customer service that I experienced along my journey.
Warm the Bench. Last week I read Activate Your Greatness by one of my favorite Peloton instructors, Alex Toussaint. He talked about how in sports, starters or quarterbacks don’t play the whole game. Taking time to sit on the bench to rest and recover is a part of their winning strategy. On your journey, allow yourself time to take in the wonder that is happening all around you. That may mean allowing your team, family, and loved ones to support you and have their time to contribute and shine. It might also look like simply taking a break so that when you do reach your victory you have the energy to truly enjoy it.
Savor the Finish line. These last two months of the year have become my time to slow down and reflect. It gives me an opportunity to celebrate the highlights of my journey and learn from the challenges to inform my plans for growth moving forward. It’s easy to make the finish line of one race the starting line of another. What if we took time to pause and savor what we’ve accomplished instead?
This week I challenge you to consider shifting from only setting goals and resolutions to also setting intentions for your journey. How do you want to feel? What do you want to pause to savor or celebrate? Who do you want by your side along the journey? Release your expectations for the destination and focus on the joy in the journey.
I am finding pleasure in the process and joy in the journey.
I am taking time for rest as a part of my winning strategy.
I am taking time to pause and celebrate my victories before focusing on the next adventure.