Last October, we planted our first trees. They’re ones that lose their leaves in the winter. I never realized how scary it is to plant a tree, then see it go “dead” in the winter. Is it OK? Will it come back in the spring? Did I water it enough? Did I water it too much? Have I killed it?

This reminds me of some of my goals. Back in 1993, I was living in the Chicago area. I was not happy living there. I love hiking in mountains, which Chicago clearly doesn’t have, and I didn’t care for the rat-race style of living there. I had decided I wanted to move to a place that was a much better fit. At that time, I married a man who intended on moving to Arizona. He had lived there once and loved it. Arizona had all the qualities I wanted in a place, so it was a plan. We would move to Arizona together.

Unfortunately, the man I married was emotional unstable. Things never got grounded enough for us to feel comfortable making that big move. We ended up divorcing, and he moved to Arizona on his own.

From the time I decided I wanted to move until I actually moved was 9 years. From the outside, it looked like I had given up on that goal. But that’s not what was happening on the inside. I thought about it regularly. I had seen a number of people move away from where they grew up only to return because they lost their job or ran out of money. I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.

It took 4 years to finalize my divorce. I changed my career to something that paid more and was mobile. When I started dating again, while still living in the Chicago area, I told me new boyfriend my plans to move and let him know I would love to have him join me, but I wasn’t willing to give it up.

I worked with a moving coach. (Did you realize there was such a thing?) She helped me get focused on exploring exactly where I wanted to move. This may sound like a lot of action toward my goal, but over a 9-year period it was a snail’s pace.

By the time the opportunity came for me to move, I was ready. The company I worked for downsized. I was let go. I moved to Albuquerque by myself without a job. I had unemployment, which helped tremendously, and I found a job quicker than my co-workers who stayed in the Chicago area.

My mom was shocked when I told her I was moving. I’m guessing she didn’t think I’d ever do it since I hadn’t taken much outward action toward it. But that’s how it works with some of my goals. I have them on my list. I review them periodically. Years may go by, but when it’s time, spring arrives, and I act on my goal in big ways.

Since I’ve been through this process more than once, I’ve learned to trust when certain goals go dormant. As long as I nurture them with a little review and imagination, they will eventually bloom.

Filed under: GoalsTiming