lessons learned: it’s ok to stray at times

This post is part of the discussion series titled The Path to Healthy Living Through the Great Outdoors. The point of these topics is not for just me to just share them and move on, but rather to foster some discussion on these ideas and how they apply in "your" life. We're not sitting around the same table, but we can still have a discussion. Just leave your own thoughts in the comments below, or send them to me privately if you prefer. You'll find a complete list of all the topics at the end of this post.

While there are times it’s important to make sure you stick to the planned path towards your goals, sometimes you need to give yourself permission to stray a little. If you expend all your energy in keeping focused on where your feet are on the path, you may miss so many wonderful things along the way.

Meeting major goals, such as a weight milestone, or getting off those blood pressure meds, or running your first 5k are like hiking to that great waterfall, or finding the perfect view of Mt Rainier, or backpacking in 10 miles to that alpine lake.

When you’re hiking, if you only concern yourself, literally, with where your feet are going, and how far you have left to that waterfall, or peak, or alpine lake, and do not take some time to look around a bit along the way, you may miss any number of little things along the trail. From little crops of mushrooms growing on a fallen stick…

… to the way a drop of water is about to fall from a ripening salmon berry.

The path towards a healthier you can be a rough one. Filled with rocky, narrow trails that can seem very daunting at times. And sure, maybe it makes reaching those major milestones feel so much the better, but there are also so many little things that will happen along the way that you don’t want to miss.

From having to add a new notch on a belt, or being able to fit into a pair of jeans you “grew out of” years ago, to maybe just making it up a flight of stairs without having to stop and catch your breath.

Take a moment, enjoy these things. Savor them for the little bits of joy they can bring. Don’t be so focused on the end that you fail to realize that every step of your journey is an opportunity to discover something new about yourself and the world around you.

This following is the complete list of topics that make up The Path to Healthy Living Through the Great Outdoors discussion topics. While these topics are listed as a sort of progression, they can be viewed/discussed in any order. Titles will get an active link as they are posted.

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