“Are we there yet?”

What parent travelling with kids hasn’t heard this before? Repeatedly.

I suggest that this question reflects a key aspect of human nature: we want to know where we are. We innately orient to our environment. We need to know what is happening around us. When we travel from one location to another, we need to know where we are in relation to where we are going. These days, technology takes the guesswork out of this spatial problem. In the old days, however (like the ’90s), we used maps when travelling. In the really old days, stones were used to mark distances along travel routes so a traveler could determine their location and gauge their progress. These stones were called as milestones.

Let’s draw on that concept of the milestone to illustrate how these progress markers can guide us along our wellness journey. To be effective, we need enough milestones that we don’t get lost between them, or simply or abandon the journey altogether. We need short periods when we have left a known position and are navigating on our own – but they need to be relatively short. We need to see the next milestone in the distance, and to experience the reassurance that we are, in fact, on the right path.

When we have learned what to expect along the route, we can be more prepared. Using this travel analogy, we know at which milestone we can get food, lodging, fuel, etc. Alternately, we know at which milestone we need to take another path.

In our wellness journey and, in particular, in a month-long challenge like this one, we need regular milestones to help keep us on course. My suggestion for this year’s challenge is that we initialize four Milestones to help us gauge our progress:

Milestone 1 – DAY 7. You have completed a quarter of the challenge

Milestone 2 – DAY 14. The half-way mark!

Milestone 3 – DAY 21. Three-quarters – the finish is in sight

Milestone 4 – DAY 28. DONE! Time to celebrate

Congratulations. You’re at Milestone 1. You have made it a quarter of the way.  Great work!

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