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  • Wendy Elzinga

The Messy Middle



You know how a good story goes, you get a nice introduction to the characters, they have plans and goals, hopes and dreams. Somewhere in the middle a crisis occurs and our "hero" has to make decisions, overcome obstacles, face challenges and sometimes even deal with his own internal demons. Hope is often nowhere in sight and the middle is often what keeps us reading until 2:00 am when our eyes can barely stay open to find out what is going to happen! The middle is often full of cliff hangers. Sometimes the middle can just seem long and and slow and painful to slog through to get to the "resolution" Can you identify with either of those scenarios in your life? Let's look at goal setting. I am the typical good intentions gal that starts each New Year, each fresh start with wonderful hopes and dreams. This is the year I'm going to start working out everyday!! This is the year I am going to start writing my book! This is the year I am going to completely organize my life! The enthusiasm is intense at the beginning, but somewhere in the messy mucky middle, things begin to fall apart. And I lose hope that I can meet those goals, and sometimes I give up, right in the middle! But the good news is that I usually always pick back up and even though I don't completely reach my goals I see progress. I have found, though my own experience that some things can help you get through the middle. 1). accountability. Letting someone else know what you are trying to do can keep you motivated. That person acts as sort of a cheerleader in the middle of a race, continuing to encourage you forward. 2). A plan to normalize and deal with setbacks. If you don't have this you are more likely to give up, then to say "Oh yeah I was waiting for this, and hears my plan." 3).To see mistakes and failure as opportunities to grow, to develop a sense of curiosity about the setback or even your own response and learn from it, rather than beat yourself up." Have these things in place before starting on your journey and you increase your chances of success on your journey.

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