Reaching A Goal
October 21, 2019
Filed In: Philosophy
I still remember it vividly. I stepped on to the scale one winter morning to see a three digit number that scared me: 207 lbs. I was six months out of college, living on my own, and suddenly in the worst physical condition of my life. How did it come to this? I was still learning how to live, but something needed to change. I bought my first Fitbit, and started on an eight year journey to get my weight back to a healthy range.
I've gone through many cycles over these eight years. I've gotten married, had kids, moved three times, and lived through all of the changes that one does in nearly a decade of life. Looking at a graph of my weight, I can see those seasons clearly illustrated. The gradual decline on my year of walking every single day and the mountains of weight gain that stress and instability added.
But 2019 was my year. Alison and I, working together, did something that even during my best periods of weight loss I never believed possible. I've reached that goal that I set for myself on that winter morning in my bathroom, half the country away.
I've reached another point of transition. Now that I've reached my goal, how do I maintain it? The natural inclination is to simply revert to old habits. I've reached my goal, so now I should reach for a big bowl of ice cream. But that's a recipe for another mountain.
No matter the goal, whether it's physical, relational, intellectual, or spiritual, the point of the journey is to learn the lessons needed to maintain success. We go through a trial to learn what works, and what doesn't. We know what life our current choices give us, but if we change those choices, could we have a life that better reflects our values?
If we reach a goal, only to revert to our old ways, what was the point of the sacrifice? Why do the work, if you're only going to squander the reward?
Goals give us focus and clarity. They challenge us to become a better version of ourselves. Goals are important, but it is the journey that counts. A master teacher, the journey guides us and challenges us to persist. We struggle, fail, fight, learn, and only then, we win.
The new year is only months away, and you might now be thinking about the changes that you wish to make in your life. Set the goal, understand the result that you wish to achieve, but pay close attention to the journey.