Journey to the Goal [Lessons Learned]

One of my favorite “lessons learned” quotes is from Jules Michelet who said that “achieving a goal is nothing but the getting there is everything”. The journey from making your goal to actually achieving it is filled with so many life lessons that it can be even more valuable than achieving the goal itself.


We tend to always have our “eyes on the prize” which is good, but we tend to forget all the work it takes to get there. It is not only about the destination but the road to get there. Whether you are an Olympic athlete, working hard for gold, or you are trying to keep healthier habits, focus on the lessons learned on the journey as well as the end goal.


What we learn along the way is what our strengths and challenges in life are. When we know what we are good at and what we still need to work on we can prepare and grow as a person. A journey is just as much about the growth as it is the final goal. If you realize that you have a weakness along the way, you can re-adjust your goal to address that. For example, if your goal is to eat less chips but you fall for the grocery store checkout trap each time, try online grocery shopping instead.

Learn from mistakes

We all make mistakes, no one is perfect but what sets out one person from the next is what they take from the mistake and if they repeat it. You know the saying “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”? Well this applies here. We all make mistakes but it is the lesson learned that matters, not the mistake. We tend to make the same choices because they are familiar, comfortable and easy to make but at some point if you want different results you have to make different choices.

Same goes for achieving your goals. Acknowledge your mistakes and do not be hard on yourself but then make a commitment to do better. For example if your goal is to not eat anymore junk food and you keep eating junk food then accept that you did it and figure out why you do it and how to not do it by changing your mindset and making a plan.

Never give up

Making a change is hard, probably harder than you realized so you need to figure out what motivates you to succeed. Perhaps it is a picture of a thinner you or of a gold medal. It is different for every person but being able to visually see your end goal will help motivate you in the difficult moments. This also comes back to setting realistic goals for yourself. If you are not consistently not succeeding, perhaps you need to change your goal to something more manageable and work your way up. We give up easily when the goal is too hard.

CELEBRATE Small successes

A big motivator on the journey to your goal is to see small successes along the way because it feels good! That is why teachers give kids stickers for doing good. If your goal is to walk for a 30 minutes each day and you make it to the end, give yourself the equivalent of a sticker, whatever that is for you, as long as it does not sabotage your end goal.

Your Takeaway

  1. Change your focus to the lessons learned throughout your journey as well as your end goal. The destination should not be your only focus.
  2. Growth is not optional. Remember that the journey is just as much about the growth as it is the final goal.
  3. We all make mistakes but it is the lesson learned that matters and not the mistake itself.
  4. If you are always giving up or tempted to move away from your end goal? Consider making a smaller more manageable goal and working your way up.
  5. Make sure to celebrate the small successes on the journey to your goal because it will help motivate you to keep going.

TRY THIS: Journal the journey to achieving your goal and write down how you feel, successes and failures and plan out your next steps. It will help you grow and achieve your goal.

POST IT NOTE: I WILL appreciate my journey!

Click for recorded segment exclusively on JOURNEY [7:41 min]

READERS: What are your thoughts on this? Please share in the comments!