I have been doing a lot of goal-setting for the new year lately. It’s what I do at this time of year. I like to plan what I want to put into action through the year so that I can gauge my success and so that I have a map of where I was planning to go, whether I actually decide to go there in the end or not. I don’t always know what opportunities will present themselves that will be the exact opposite of what I thought I wanted, but are perfect. I also don’t know which direction each new action will lead, so as much as I love a good plan, I also work hard at staying open to what is happening around me so I can respond accordingly.

I get excited about the planning stages, research and dreaming. There is so much energy for me in looking to the future and imagining what will be! The novelty and exploration are both very interesting to me. I had such fun writing down and sharing my plans for this year and then making my vision board to reflect it and to pick up on some of the unconscious themes, too.

I also tend to enjoy the beginning stages of a new project. I like to set things in motion and think about where they will go, watch those first, unsteady steps become a pathway in the direction I have pointed myself. The concrete “doing” of the beginning of a project provides me with such a sense of accomplishment, it’s hard for me to even express it in words. I have few problems beginning something that really excites me.

As I finish the beginning of these projects, though, I realize that I’m not at all looking forward to the next phase, which will come sooner or later on all of these: the long haul through the middle. This is the part of the process where there is a lot of waiting. There may be every-day activities that support the project and keep it in motion. I might be waiting for results so I can analyze, refigure, and try again. Either way, I feel let down after the previous excitement, and it’s often hard to keep myself going without feeling discouraged.

I can generally delay gratification pretty easily, but I so want to see the results from the things I’ve begun – now, if not sooner.  I want to know if what I’ve started is going in the right direction or if I’m going to have to scrap the whole thing and start over. I want to know what my next steps should be. I want to tell the people in my life about the exciting things that I’m doing, whether it’s working or not. I want to get support and congratulations. I want to finish this thing and move on to the next one.

And at the same time, I know that this is one of the most important stages of any project, the actual work of it. If it isn’t done well, it’s a waste of time and energy, and possibly, money. Neither the beginning nor the ending makes much sense without the glue in the middle. And, honestly, I could use a lesson or two in patience. I am waiting for great things to happen, and great things take their own time and develop in their own way, after all. So bear with me as I trudge through the weeds of this middle stage. I’m trying to grow, and this is the only way for me to get there.