I remember being in the backseat of dad’s Peugeot 404 station wagon excited about arriving at the Geraldton Highway Motel. Having no concept of time, the inevitable question was asked, “Are we there yet?” To this day, children on holidays ask the same question. It is not a generational thing. However, after going to Geraldton a few times, the question abated. I knew the landmarks to look for, to give me a sense of distance until arrival. Dongara, not long now. Wind – blown trees at Greenough, last game of eye spy. Sand dunes of Mount Tarcolla, arrival eminent.
Once we have experienced the journey and understand the signposts, the anxiety for the destination subsides. The same theory can be applied when making a change to the way we do things. In this case, finishing each day, week or month in a happier space more often. There are things that we can do. Regular exercise, practice mindfulness, make healthy eating choices, switch off technology… And with good intentions we start the journey towards a happier lifestyle. But after some time, we don’t look like the person we envisaged we would be: “Are we there yet?”
James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, explains the difference between what you think should happen and what actually happens is The Valley of Disappointment. Because we haven’t been on this journey towards an enhanced identity, it will be hard. There will be sacrifices and the results are not immediate. So, we stop. DISAPPOINTED. The road to being the Best Version of You more often will require sacrifices. However, there is a destination. And it is good for many reasons.
Here are 4 tips for you to avoid The Valley of Disappointment:
- Whatever the destination, know that other people have done it before you. Validating possibility.
- Take small achievable steps that give instant success.
- The question is not, “Are we there yet?” It is, “Am I further than yesterday?” If you followed Step 2, then the destination is closer.
- The joy is in the journey. The destination is the reward.
Our family holidays were always an event to look forward to, including the journey.