Outrageous I know – me questioning the importance of seeing results. After spending the last 8 years creating a business to help people achieve the fitness results they want.
But bear with me… because the realisation I had this weekend about results (or outcomes) and how we go about reaching them could change how you go about staying motivated to exercise.
My weekend expedition took me out near Bolton Abbey hoping to take in the amazing views from a rocky outcrop known as Simon’s seat.
If you don’t already know, to get to Simons Seat you have to travel through the ‘Valley of Desolation’ and climb some 1590 feet of moorland to be rewarded by panoramic views of unspoilt Yorkshire dales scenery.
I was excited by the promise of stunning views. And knew that the hard work of the walk was worth it because this amazing landscape was waiting for me at the top. As you can imagine I had pretty high expectations! But what I saw when I got there was totally unexpected.
What surprised me was not the view (or lack thereof). But that I didn’t feel totally disappointed. How come? Well, I’d really enjoyed the challenge of the climb. I’d got some exercise, listened to one of my favourite mixtapes and pretty much wrote the outline for this post.
It felt like I was living a cliche – but it wasn’t until that moment that the importance of enjoying the journey truly dawned on me. When the destination wasn’t all that, it didn’t matter so much – because I’d got so much from the journey.
My ‘realisation in the wilderness’ has some pretty useful applications to fitness and staying motivated too.
If you’d told me I had to walk for 3 hours down the side of the M1 I wouldn’t do it. But remove the cars, change the scenery, throw some views and good company into the deal and I’d be up for it.
Tell me to run round within a 12m x6m box for an hour and I’ll call you crazy. But throw a racket, net, ball and an opponent into the mix and we’ll go for hours.
Ask me to sit down and stand up, pick some heavy stuff up and put it down and move around a small space for an hour you can forget it. But put some good music on, get a load of other people I enjoy spending time with to do it too and call it a training session and I’m in!
Finding ways to make your fitness journey more enjoyable is a huge factor in staying motivated. And the crazy thing is that when we find activities we enjoy the outcome itself becomes less important.
We often continue exercising for reasons other than why we started doing it in the first place. And if we can start by finding something you enjoy at least some elements of we’re onto something you’ll be more likely to sustain 🙂