Unexpected Detours

Tackle your mountain with alternative routes.
The path towards achieving a goal, or climbing a mountain, rarely follows a straight line. Life is unpredictable and unexpected events can render even the most thoroughly planned routes impassable. Sudden storms may wash away the path. We might sprain an ankle on loose rocks. Perceived setbacks are reminders that navigating a path up the mountain requires flexibility, creativity, and advice from a trusted guide.

Determined to get to the summit, we may decide on a route we believe is the only way up. However, when illness or injury threaten our efforts, we can remain determined to reach the top, but must be flexible to find other ways up that mountain. The new path might be more difficult or take more time, but if we remain open to new ideas, new paths to achieve our goal can be found.

Creativity can spark new ideas for getting up the mountain.  We may need new tools to help navigate the path. By trying new paths we might even discover skills we never knew we had.

Finally, when the path gets treacherous, all good mountaineers rely on guides. Relying on the expertise of others for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a brilliant navigation strategy.

Wherever you are on your own journey, remember that setbacks are to be expected. Remain open to new ideas and the help of others to navigate unexpected twists in your path.

Climb That Mountain

Achieve your goals in the new year.

The promise of a new year brings opportunity and pressure to start fresh and to make lofty goals for the new year. When the warmth of the holidays fades, we are left staring at a cold, imposing mountain of good intention. The bleak landscape might discourage us as we think about how high we have to climb to reach our goal of optimal health and fitness.

Thankfully, we can tackle our mountains with patience, perseverance, partnerships. We need patience to understand that climbing a mountain takes time. We must start slow to allow our bodies to acclimate to the work in order to have enough energy to make it all the way up that mountain.

We need perseverance to stick with the journey when it gets difficult and uncomfortable. It takes hard work, sweat, and being short of breath to reach the peak of a mountain. We need to embrace the discomfort and find a way to work through it.

Partnerships are one way to work through the discomfort, whether it is the accountability of a running partner who keeps us running in cold weather, or a friend with whom we can walk and find empathetic conversation. A personal trainer can push us to work harder, or offer other paths up the mountain that may be more rewarding. Mentors can help us become better parents, spouses, or improve at our jobs. Cooking classes can help us improve our cooking. Trusted counselors and mental health professionals can help us work through depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.

We all have mountains to climb. If you find yourself staring at what feels like an impossible climb, give yourself time, stick in there, and find someone to help you along your journey.