An old saying has been bouncing around in my large noggin for a while: enjoy the journey. It’s pretty prevalent in the health and fitness industry because of goal setting and reaching goals that the client wants.

There are a couple of things about this enjoy the journey saying that bothers me because I’m a nit-picky guy. You know, the people who bring large containers of water into the gym don’t clean up after themselves and grunt while doing curls? In the big scheme of things, it’s not a big deal, but I cannot help but throw dirty looks their way to draw attention to their behavior.

Yep, I’m that nit-picky guy.

Anyhow, when the client is in a personal training situation, and things are not going their way, and their goals are not being met, they are often told to enjoy the journey. All those workout sessions, all that money spent, and all the days without a cinnamon bun are boiled down to, you guessed it.

Enjoy the journey.

When their goals are not being met, whether health and fitness or any other personal goal, their current journey probably blows.

Are you with me so far? Let’s dive in a little further below.   

What To Do If You Don’t Enjoy The Journey

IMO, enjoy the journey is a blow-off saying. You’re not reaching your goals despite sacrificing time, money, and sweat equity for them. Then when you get discouraged and maybe on the verge of quitting, you’re told.

“Enjoy the journey. Bumps in the road are expected, and if you keep focusing on the destination, you will not enjoy the journey. “

Or something to that effect. Can you relate?

When my clients are working hard, and their goals are not being met, the last thing I will tell them is, do I need to repeat it? I think not. You cannot blow off another person’s suffering, no matter how little or great, with an off-the-cuff saying. It diminishes their suck, and I don’t want that.

So, what do I do when my or my client’s goals still need to be met and they need to enjoy the journey? In the gym, reminding clients how far they have come from where they began is low-hanging fruit. Keeping records of weight lifted, their physical measurement, and reminding them of their improved movement helps.  

Keeping them focused, not diminishing their suffering, and focusing on the positives while acknowledging the negatives keeps them (hopefully) on the straight and narrow. So, if you’re struggling, remember to focus on the positives and how far you have come (not how far you got to go) before quitting.

Keeping On The Straight Line

Some of my journeys have taken so long that I’ve gotten lost and completely forgotten about the destination. For instance, it almost took me ten years to deadlift twice my body weight and a good few years to become a freelance fitness writer. During these journeys, there have been highs and lows, but during those, I’ve tried to stay on an even keel.

Enjoy the highs and pat myself on the back for a well-done job, but continue the good work tomorrow. The lows you learn from, and I remind myself that lows are part and parcel of the game of life. Keeping on a straight line helps me through life’s trials and tribulations. 

Did I enjoy the journey? Well, yes and no.  

But I did enjoy one thing; I reached my destination.

That’s the thing about the saying enjoy the journey and not the destination. It’s an either-or thing, and you have to choose one. This is where I feel these so-called life gurus get it wrong. Why do you have to choose?

If your journey has been long and arduous and only somewhat enjoyable, why shouldn’t you enjoy the destination when you get there? It’s like saying, enjoy the plane ride to the beach but don’t enjoy it when you get there. To me, that seems silly. So, find ways to enjoy the journey and the spoils of your hard work when you reach your destination. 

Because it is not an either-or thing, it is both.

Wrapping Up

IMO, it is dangerous to get stuck in the either-or thinking. Is it not that, it is this, especially regarding your health and fitness. Because sacrificing for your health and fitness is difficult, and when you eventually reach your destination, celebrate good times, come on. When you do, could you invite me? 😊


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