Fitness is a Journey, Not a Destination

Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida - Tues, Sept 28, 2021.  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage:

“life is a journey, not a destination”.

The same is true for fitness as well.

Often we see enthusiasts work towards a fitness or health goal, achieve it and then slowly slide back to where they started. Sound familiar?

This cycle is easy to break If you shift your thinking and training to cultivate long-term habits, rather than just ‘short-term fix goals’.  

First, understand there are several reasons why maintaining a change in behavior is often more difficult than making the initial change itself.

These include:

  • Starting with a ‘race to the finish’ mentality (common in fitness challenges), where there is a ‘start’ and ‘end’. This approach doesn’t work long-term because you fail to enjoy the journey and get burnt out.
  • Failing to plan to maintain your goals once you've achieved them. Once a target is met, people often take that as a reason to relax and celebrate, rather than continue their good work.
  • Setting large goals and not smaller, more quickly achievable ones. Long-term goals only work if you have day-to-day goals to help and encourage you through your journey.

People who enjoy the fitness journey, often don’t think of themselves as ‘motivated’.

They just consider themselves ‘consistent.’

The trick then to staying on your own personal journey is to keep doing something long enough that it feels unnatural not to do it.

For example, consider how it would feel if you didn’t brush your teeth in the morning or didn’t have your seat belt on.

Fitness minded people who might seem motivated are simply feel uncomfortable when they don’t eat well or miss a workout.

There are a few life-hacks you can use to reinforce and enjoy your own journey rather than focusing only on the destination.

People often relapse into old patterns of behavior is because they’ve forgotten the discomfort associated with their former selves.

Once a goal is reached, it’s easy to slip back into old habits. 

Write some honest, brief evaluations on: your opinion of self-image, quality of health, level of fitness and your old energy level. Be candid. Write ‘Old Me’ at the top of your list, and stick it in a place you often frequent to serve as a constant reminder of why you embarked on your journey.

Aim for progress, not perfection - even Olympic athletes have tough days.

Aiming for perfection is a fast way to develop an unhealthy relationship with exercise. Give yourself a break if you slip up.

Find out what caused you to slip and learn from it.

Be patient and forgive yourself.

When looking at improving health and fitness, people often make goals based on numeric targets.

This shouldn’t be your focus.

There are going to be weeks when the figure on the scale doesn’t budge.

It’s important to look at the big picture.

For example, if you’ve been attending the gym for 2-weeks and barely notice weight loss, don’t be hard on yourself.

The fact you managed to stay purposely active for 2-weeks is an achievement!

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Let's go on this journey together and change your life as always, “Practice with Purpose and Live with Passion!”



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