The other day I was sitting around anxiously reflecting on my goals. I have so many things I would like to achieve, and while I am good about acknowledging how far I have come, I am not so great about sitting with my goals in the meantime. The waiting season is a challenge for me. So when I think about past, present and future dreams, it’s the present-the most important time in my mind-which often trips me up. And sure, sometimes the present is the ride you are looking for. Your wildest dreams are coming true but no matter what your goals are or where you are along your journey there will be a waiting season.
It makes sense though right? Everything that grows has a dormant period or a time of rest before the bloom. But I also can’t help but think that the times I was most successful, the success often came as a surprise. Not that I wasn’t doing the work. I wasn’t sitting on my couch eating bon bons- although there might be a time for that too, but in those cases I had my head down, nose to the grind, just being the best me I could be. And then lo and behold something magical happened. Which leads me to believe that how we approach the waiting season might have an effect on our outcome and if we really think about it, how we embrace each season will determine the quality of what we produce. So here are the three seasons of goal growing and a few reminders to help you (and me) through each one!
Goal planting season– Start with the soil-we all know that for our goals to grow or for us to build anything we have to start with a strong foundation. Often when we think about the whole 5 mins of fame thing- if we’re being honest we might have known it wouldn’t last. Things that last aren’t flashes in the pan or overnight success stories (most of these overnight successes actually took years of hard work). The long game is what we should aspire to because that’s what sticks! So whatever it is that you’re hoping for, stop looking for the easy way out and dig in. Get your hands in the soil and figure out what you need to do first.
I was once in a creators group where people were brainstorming ways to maximize their success and help others do the same. That was an awesome goal but the reality was we hadn’t done the ground work to even be successful, more less maximize it. You have to be willing be to get a little dirty. Till the soil. Keep your head down and don’t worry about how shiny everyone else’s garden looks. Embrace the grunt work!
Goal waiting season– also known as the law of detachment-A quick scroll through Instagram at this time of year will yield results of someone smiling back at you from a pumpkin patch. There they are surrounded by someone else’s hard work as they also work to create something that enhances their own. That very first someone trusted that they would see a harvest-even when the pumpkins seeds lay dormant underground. We are quick to think things aren’t working out in our favor when we can’t see the results right away but it is so important to do the work as stated above, and then sit back with a bit of detachment (no running to your imaginary pumpkin field each day to look for a sign) and one day, maybe even when you aren’t expecting it or even thinking about it you see a sprout. This is how the law of detachment works. It’s the old cliche that a watched pot never boils. Sometimes you have to step back, walk away and trust the process.
It makes me think of that time in grad school while doing my internship and working full time that I got so sick they thought I had an autoimmune disorder. My body wanted a rest period but instead I forged ahead and forced it to cooperate by taking prednisone (a steroid). My doctors thought the condition would last a lifetime but everything subsided (and never returned) when I was able to finish my program and enter my waiting season. Should I have done it differently? I believe so. But hindsight is 20/20.
Now, I understand the benefits of the waiting season even if I need a gentle reminder every now and then. So remember to look at your dormant season as a time to recoup, relax and engage in some serious self-care too because what’s coming next may be the toughest season of all. Embrace the wait!
Goal Harvesting Season-everyone thinks this is the most joyous time, and sure it can be. You finally get to see the tangible results of all that working and waiting but it’s often the most challenging season of them all too. Think about anything you’ve ever gotten that you wanted-a new baby, a promotion, a spouse, a book deal. The work doesn’t end when you have what you wanted, if anything it only gets harder! This is the time to not only be grateful for what we’ve accomplished but to be thankful for that waiting season because if we made good use of it we are now ready to work. Embrace what you’ve been hoping for!
So those are my tips for embracing each season of your dreams! I’d love to hear your tips too!
Until Next Post,
xo Tonya Parker