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Focus on the Journey–Not the Destination

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Keep reading to learn how a shift in mindset can lead to greater weight loss success.

Imagine yourself at the bottom of a staircase. Your success is getting to the top of the stairs. How will you achieve success? One giant leap to the top? No way! It’s impossible.

Success looks like taking many individual steps and getting to the top.

We can’t take one giant leap to the top of the staircase just as we can’t achieve our weight loss goals overnight. Success is every hard-earned, small step accomplished along the way. These moments create the path to your destination and deserve to be acknowledged!

Plus, seeing the progress along the way fuels more positive behaviors and helps keep you motivated. Small steps lead to big results!

Reflect: How do you define success?

  • Is it by accomplishing a goal?
  • Or is it achieving every single step that helped you get there?

Your mindset and how you view goals play a major role. Let’s take a look at how your mindset can impact your success.

Meet Henry

Henry received an email at work about this “diet plan” called Real Appeal®. It’s offered through his benefits at work for no charge and comes with a valuable Success Kit.

  • Henry has wanted to lose weight for a while, so he decided to join.
  • He was excited to start this new “diet” so he can lose weight as quickly as possible.
  • After attending a few group sessions, he realized that the program isn’t a diet but rather a plan to build a healthy lifestyle.
  • It was the opposite of what he expected, but he decided to keep attending and focus on:
    • Tracking everything he eats and drinks
    • Eating less than 1,500 calories a day
    • Exercising two hours a day 6 days a week
  • Since Henry believed he already knew everything there was to know, he multitasked during group sessions, never set goals, and didn’t read the weekly articles.
  • He lost a little bit of weight, had more energy, and was feeling good so he decided to ease up on food tracking. He was confident he could still lose weight without doing it.
  • After not tracking for a few weeks, he slowly increased his portion sizes and started dining out more often.
  • He no longer felt energetic and began regaining the weight he lost.

Takeaway: Henry was strictly focused on meeting the goal of losing 20 pounds. He opted for a shortcut and didn’t take the time to focus on making lifestyle changes that would help him lose more weight and keep it off for good.

Let’s learn from his experience to avoid a relapse! The secret to maintaining hard-earned achievements may be to change how we think about them. Science agrees!

How to have greater success

People are more likely to have and sustain long-term success when they:

  • Focus on taking small, realistic steps
  • Learn about themselves and grow, especially through challenges, slip-ups, and relapses


  • Understanding what emotions trigger you to emotionally eat
  • Realizing you get to choose how you want to be physically active
  • Learning when you don’t sleep at least seven hours a night, you gain weight

There are many valuable lessons that must be learned along the way to sustain your healthy habits for a lifetime. Take this opportunity to change what success looks like and create a mindset that will help you thrive.

Transform your mindset

Reflect: What is a wellness goal you’ve achieved and relapsed with?

  • What did you learn about yourself in the experience?
  • How did you grow through the experience?
  • How did you define success and how do you think that played a role?

If you were focused on getting to your goal as quickly as possible and didn’t learn anything throughout, it’s time to shift your mindset and focus on the journey. Let’s get started!

Shift your perspective

A journey-style way of thinking is focusing on learning and the small steps it takes to achieve a goal. Adopting this mindset will help you apply what you learn in the program and increase your chances of long-term success.

As you keep your eye on the prize:

  • Become aware of the actions you take and their consequences (positive and negative).
  • Monitor your progress so you can see where you started, where you went, and how you got there.
  • Acknowledge the ups and downs along the way and explore how you got through them.
  • Learn from both the wins and the losses to help grow and boost confidence.

Envisioning success as a journey might seem like an easy concept, but it doesn’t come naturally. Switching to a journey-style way of thinking involves self-reflection and a growth mindset. 

Learn from wins and losses

Reflect on your past successes, slip-ups, and relapses you experienced during the program.

Ask yourself — Over the last six months:

  • Which actions had a positive impact on my success?
    • Which actions had a negative impact on my success?
  • What challenges did I experience and why did they happen?
    • How did I overcome them?
    • When I wasn’t able to overcome them, what was the reason?
  • What did I learn from both my successes and challenges?
    • How will I use what I learned to keep going?

Change is hard! Take this opportunity to make it easier and create an image of what success looks like for you. This creates a mindset that will help you reach your goals. Learn from hard moments, they will happen, and remember success comes from every win and challenge. Don’t opt for shortcuts. Take the time to learn about yourself as you become a healthier and happier version of yourself.

Slow down and enjoy the process. You’ll thank yourself later when you’ve kept the weight off.

Photo Credit: Westend61/Getty Images