5 ways to enjoy the journey

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Nearly a year ago today I closed the business I had run for nearly 15 years. In the year that followed I said farewell to Montreal where I’d been living for the last three years and returned with my family to the UK. 2019 was also the year I established my new business, Up+thrive. It’s been a year of goodbyes and new beginnings. Letting go of the old story and creating a new one.

Exciting times, or so I first thought!

Buoyed by others’ enthusiasm and a box of tried and tested tools, I set my vision for my new business and embarked on my exciting new journey. Only to discover that it isn’t quite that easy – and at times not that enjoyable.

Even with the experience of having established a business before and knowing the pitfalls, it feels at times a low. slow slog. I question whether I have the energy and the inclination to really do this. Is this vision really what I want? Can I even do this? Maybe I’m kidding myself and should just go back to doing what I did before?

But no, all the critical thinking I do around my purpose and the people I speak with confirms my vision is right, but it just might take me a little longer to get than I expect! Apparently I need to learn how to enjoy the journey. This for someone as impatient and destination focused as me is a challenge….

So I’m on the look out for some strategies. Here’s what I’ve tried so far. I’d love to hear yours.

1. A gratitude journal.

Before I go to bed at night, I write down a minimum three things I appreciated that day. Then at the end of the week I look over my list. This means I have 21 reason to be grateful from the whole week.

Try it out. It’s really increased my appreciation of day-to-day life.

2. An action plan

When you have a big vision, carrying it around with you all the time can be exhausting. I’m working now with others to break that down in to smaller actionable steps, to set SMART goals, and as each step is achieved stopping to celebrate my success. Lowering my expectations and getting comfortable with where I am at right now has made the journey a lot less of a struggle and more enjoyable.

3. Learning how to switch off

Setting up a new venture can be all consuming and I’ve found trying to switch off can be difficult. Try spending time doing something at least once a week that doesn’t have an end goal attached to it. An activity that's 100% about living and being in the moment. Do it for fun and because you enjoy it. I currently run just for the hell of it, but I’ve always fancied singing. It could be baking, drawing, gardening, meditating. The list is endless.

4. Changing your mindset

I’m working on trying to see the journey as just as valuable as the destination, and that every little step gets me closer. It’s okay that I’m not there yet, because I’ll get there eventually and I’m learning new things on the way.

When you next feel yourself getting caught up in destination mode (negative self talk like “I’m never going to get there/make it” etc) take a step back and remind yourself of something you've already achieved. What was the most enjoyable bit? Achieving it in the end? Or was it what you learnt or gained in the process? That helps me to get back on track.

5. Spending time with people who are important to me

Although building my business is a key aspiration, it isn’t the be all and end all. Prioritising spending time with my family and friends, and being involved in their lives is also very important for me. Being around people who love me, gives me the energy and inspiration to keep moving forward. So time spent with them out of the office is as important, if not more so, than time spent in it!