Summer Road Trip (How Do We Get There From Here?)


You have a destination in mind -- an idea of what you’d like to create in your life. Maybe you have a picture of it in your mind. Maybe you’ve created a vision board. You might be journaling, using affirmations, reminders, and other tools that help you to keep it front and center. But… how do you know all of this is doing anything, when it seems like you’re not there yet?

It helps to understand how change happens. While sometimes it is instantaneous, most of the time change happens incrementally. Some changes are so small that either we barely recognize them or we think they’re unimportant, yet they are the very building blocks of what we’re trying to create. We move forward step by step! Yes, you can run a 10K, but most of us focus on the goal and forget that each time your foot hits the pavement, something significant is happening.

When we put something in motion, momentum is the key to moving forward. Initially, we need to do our part to create it, by reminding and encouraging ourselves to take action steps, no matter how small. Momentum builds as we focus our energies in the direction we want to go.

We may get sidetracked by discouragement, but that can also present an opportunity to step back and take a fresh look, in order to begin again. Even that helps our momentum. We may be re-routed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get there.

Reflect on where you were when you started on this path. What is different now? We tend to measure in yes/no terms -- am I there yet or not -- but instead, look at the changes that have occurred. Most of the time, these changes go unnoticed, so it’s important to back up and take in a bigger view. A friend who’s new to this process recently bemoaned, “I’ve been working on this every day and haven’t gotten any leads on my dream job yet!” But when she reflected on the changes that have happened in the past month, she had a long list that included feeling healthier overall, meeting new friends, and an unexpected opportunity for travel. We never know where things will lead! Getting comfortable with this mystery can make the unfolding of your path a wondrous experience. Don’t limit yourself by assuming you know what is or is not possible.

If you take one step toward your goal every day, and develop an awareness of how you feel, as well as to the language you use with yourself, you can’t go wrong. Remember that saying, “It’s about the journey, not the destination!” It’s true. The path to what you want is filled with good – pay attention.

Dianne Frances, MFA, MS, LPC, NCC

Psychotherapist

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