This summer I decided to sign up for guitar lessons. I took music in high school, but playing Guitar Hero was the extent of my guitar knowledge (unfortunately my Guitar Hero skills didn’t translate). The other day I was practicing “Wild Horses” and I was getting down on myself because it didn’t sound right. I was slow switching chords and kept missing the rhythm pattern. “I can’t play guitar” was running on repeat through my mind. Feeling super frustrated, I started putting my guitar away.
Then I realized I was comparing myself to The Rolling Stones.
I was so focused on the end result—the lofty goal of sounding like Keith Richards—that I forgot about the process of learning. I forgot how much I’ve already improved and more importantly I forgot how enjoyable it was getting to that point. And I think that lesson is important when it comes to fitness.
Working towards a fitness goal is great motivation because the whole point of setting a goal is to pick something you can’t do yet. But reaching a goal takes time and consistent effort. You’ll likely spend a lot of time not reaching your goal before you do. If you’ve got goal tunnel vision it will be awfully hard to enjoy that process. If you stop enjoying the process, your goal won’t feel as exciting and you will feel less motivated.
When you are feeling in a rut like this it is important to reflect back on all of the progress you have made. Yes, there might be a lot of work ahead, but that’s okay. There’s always work ahead because once you reach a goal, you will inevitably look for another. So, whether it’s in fitness or guitar, enjoy the process. Don’t be afraid to celebrate small victories, it won’t take anything away from your goal—in fact, you might even get there faster.
Thanks for reading,