The Journey is Most Important

I am a very goal oriented person, always have been.  Growing up, I was always self motivated by the thought of doing well in sports and academics.  I was a competitive gymnast since the age of 6 and switched over to competitive cheerleading when I was 14.  During this time, I had to learn how to prioritize and to set a plan and timeline that would help me to accomplish my goals.  While a competitive gymnast, here is what my schedule looked like:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday:
    • School from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
    • Gymnastics from 4:30 to 8:00 pm
    • Homework, Dinner, Shower, & Bed from 8:15 pm to 9:30 or 10 pm
  • Wednesday:
    • School 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
    • Piano Lessons 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
    • Off the Rest of the Night
  • Friday & Sunday:
    • Off Days!  But during competition season I would have meets on Sundays and or Saturdays.
  • Saturday:
    • Gymnastics from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm or gymnastics competition

Quite the schedule for a little girl, right?  I was able to pull all of this off while also keeping up my grades, going to church, and still finding time to enjoy being a kid.  Let me tell you too that with how busy I was, my child hood flew!  Don’t get me wrong, I loved every second of my activities and being a kid.  I had an amazing family, great friends, and every opportunity available.  I also knew though what I had to do to accomplish my goal, would then mark it off of my to-do list, and then move on to the next goal.  Having set goals helped me to stay on the path I needed to accomplish what I started.  Through high school, my goals consisted of competitive cheerleading, getting good grades to help me get accepted into the college of my choice, along with participating in many student activities at school.  After high school came college where I set my goal of graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in 3 years and writing for the school newspaper.  After college came a full time job, then an engagement, planning a wedding, buying a house, getting married, moving in, and now my husband and I are settling into our new life together.  As thrilled as I am to be at this point in my life and to have accomplished so many of the goals I’ve set for myself, I have never been one to feel content with where I am at in life, or have the urge to settle.  This quality can be both a positive attribute, as well as a burden.  I sometimes struggle to live in the moment, since I am always working toward my future goals.  Because of this, I am afraid that I miss savoring so many of my present moments.  I am always in a hurry while trying to get through the work week, and always expect so much from myself every day.  So many times I want to jump straight from the starting line to the finish line, while skipping the journey in between.  Often it feels like I blink and it’s been another week, month, or year.

I have caught myself feeling this way recently.  I am at my job and I am thinking about how to get to the next promotion.  I am in my home and I look around to find what’s the next home improvement project.  I see my puppy Tebow and I can’t wait for him to be old enough so we can run together.  I am already thinking about my next blog post while I am writing my current one.  I am planning my vacations for next year, before I have even enjoyed the one’s this year.

Can anyone else relate to one or a few of the statements mentioned above?  Do you ever look to the future and wonder how you can better yourself for tomorrow, instead of asking how you can improve yourself in the moment?

I know this is something I want to definitely work on.  I want to love and enjoy my first year of marriage, my first home, my puppy’s first year, etc., before it’s too late and I’ve been married 10 years, living in a new place, and my little Tebow ages into an adult dog.

However, having goals is not a bad thing.  It can also improve our present lives if we choose to live in the moment, take it day-by-day, and enjoy the journey.

Here are a few present goals I have set for myself.  I hope that every goal will help me to live each day, and every moment to its fullest.

1)  Read a novel every month.

I used to love to read more than anything and would easily go through 3-4 books in a month.  Lately though, I jump on the computer or watch television rather than immersing myself into a good story.

2)  Remind myself that blogging has no rules.

Some days I just don’t have the time to put as much thought into a post as I would like, or some days I just need to turn off the computer and step away.  I need to remember that it’s okay, I am not forced to blog every day and if I need a break, I will take that time away.

3)  Appreciate the week days as much as I do the weekend.

I always feel like I am ‘Working for the Weekend.’  Since there are five days during the week, as opposed to the two making up the weekend, it doesn’t make sense to wish away almost 3/4 of the week.  I need to find ways to appreciate working that 9-5, while also doing activities though the week that I love.

4)  Make every meal a special occasion.

Whether I am eating a turkey sandwich, an apple with peanut butter, or a simple salad, presentation is key.  I love my meal so much more when it’s plated nicely and served as if it’s an occasion to celebrate.  Meal time is something I look forward to as a break during the day at work, or a healthy way for me to start my day, or a nice dinner with my husband.  It only takes a minute to transport food in a plastic container to a glass bowl, or to slice up an apple instead of eating it whole, or to always use silverware as opposed to plastic ware, when available.  Every meal can be special if I add a little extra flare.

5)  Run a half marathon with my husband.

Tim and I have unofficially decided to run a half marathon together in May.  My chronic fatigue syndrome can flare up without notice, so we plan to play it by ear and take it each day at a time.  The important thing is for us to train together and accomplish this goal as a team.  I hope to appreciate each and every run of our training plan and enjoy the journey and the time with my husband, not just the actual race.

6)  Read a bible verse every morning.

I want to take this time to reflect on my life and to prepare myself for the day ahead.  I want to work on who I am as a person every day and try to make a positive impact on others.

7)  Light candles when I am home.

Such a simple action, but it really can making a huge difference in the coziness of one’s space.  It always makes the night feel special and spa-like when there are lit candles giving off a warm glow.

8)  Find ways to have fun and be positive in all activities.

To me, it is easy to have fun grocery shopping or making dinner, but not so much doing laundry, making the bed, or washing the dishes after dinner.  I want to try and keep a positive attitude while doing all things, and be appreciative that I have a bed to make or be thankful that I had dinner to put on my plates.

 

Questions:

Are you goal oriented?  If so, what are some of your future and present goals?

How do you live in the moment while preparing for the future?

Do you struggle with wanting to skip ahead to the finish line, and in return miss the journey getting there?

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29 thoughts on “The Journey is Most Important

    • I agree! It is hard being in that stage after college when entering the work force and still trying to figure out yourself and what you want to do for the rest of your life! It’s a journey just to figure out who you want to be in this world. 🙂

  1. I can relate to this so much! I was even thinking the same thing over the weekend. I am always planning the next thing and rarely stop to enjoy the moment. I’m trying to do this more, but I’m a planner at heart, so it is hard to break the habit. I’ve been trying to give my self a few minutes everyday to just breathe and try to clear my head.

  2. Great Post! I too have recently realized the importance of setting goals- whether its long term or short term. The important thing for me is to remember to live in the moment. One of my goals is to start living outside the box more- try new things- not being afraid to let my guard down and have a bit more fun every once in awhile! Another goal of mine is to get more involved in my church- read the bible more like one of yours. I already volunteer at my church in the 2 year old class and I recently just moved from being a helper to teaching the class. This is great because I will be responsible for planning the lessons, which will not only help the kids but myself as well 🙂

  3. I love your #6 goal of reading a Bible verse everyday.
    My daily devotions are done through this site: http://qt.swim.org/living/ and they have a very short passage with a little message/background/application at the bottom. I tell myself I can’t check my emails until I do the passage (it keeps me accountable). It’s a great resource, if you’re looking for something like that.
    Thanks for this post! I think I’m someone who sometimes loses track of my big-picture goal to enjoy the moment sometimes, so I’m a bit opposite. I need to keep those short- and long-term goals in mind.

  4. This is a great post girl! I have definitely found myself getting caught up in working too much for things in the future and not enjoying the present. It can be easy to do! I love your goals and think they will definitely help you enjoy what in front of you right now. I am not really a goal oriented person, but I do have things that I’ll set my sights on and work toward!

  5. I totally relate, girl. I too was the over-achieving child who somehow managed to juggle school work and hobbies. I was a competitive equestrian starting at 8 years old. That meant riding everyday, training all winter, and competing almost every-other weekend – all while keeping high grades in school. It’s tough – but it makes us stronger people. I definitely keep that drive now as an adult and fail to stop and smell the roses sometimes. And while having long term goals is wonderful, it’s good to focus on the ‘now’ sometimes too.

    • I totally agree! I appreciate the schedule I had to maintain as a kid, because it has helped me learn how to fit it all in. It also doesn’t let me simply rest on my morals, which can be good since I always want to better myself. However, you are right that it is important to focus on the now too!

  6. I relate to this post 100%. I feel like I get so focused on what is coming up next that I forget to enjoy the moment, where I am right now. After recently getting married, I’ve really tried to slow down and focus on this special time right now, without worrying or looking at what the future has in store.
    Thanks for this post! It’s a great reminder!

  7. Love all your goals!

    And I LOVE what you have to say about always looking toward the future. I have to say that in college, I was a pro about living in the moment because I never wanted college to end 🙂

    I promise that’s not the reason I’m going back to college, but I know I need to try and be more “in the moment” when I do go back, because I know it won’t be the same this time around. I can tell that ever since Craig and I started a long distance relationship, I’m just counting down the time until we get to live near each other again. I’m also looking forward until when I’m done teaching. The truth is, I should appreciate this time because one day I’ll look back and it will seem so short!

    • For sure girl! Your teaching year will be over before you know it, and hopefully you can look back and appreciate that final time at your school 🙂 Life goes so fast, you are blessed that you are getting the opportunity to try all sorts of jobs and fields!

  8. “Appreciate the weekdays as much as the weekends”….such a good one! I definitely need to work on this 🙂

  9. I love this post! I feel like you wrote out a lot of what I’ve been thinking lately! I also have rushed through life and accomplished so many goals, but feel like I’m always counting down to the next thing or planning something rather than actually living. I’m also trying to work on it!

  10. This is so great. You are certainly speaking for me. Goals provide direction, but should not stop you from enjoying the time as you reach those accomplishments. Your right, life is a journey, it doesn’t always go as planned, but the trick is to be content whatever the circumstances and keep moving forward.

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