Shoot for the Moon: How Long Does "It" Take
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The Incremental Moon Shot
One of the questions raised in therapy is—“How long will this take?” My response is traditionally a gentle inquiry back, “How long has it taken to get to where you are?”
Some therapists may prescribe the time; they even may prescribe the goals, direction and focus. And traditionally clients will identify and relate with the Moon Shot idea of having the problem quantified and qualified for them before even beginning.
Please don’t hear this as avoiding the idea of fast therapy or even being opposed to having a goal or even establishing a game plan. I am actually inviting the opposite no matter what the dilemma, conflict or curiosity is that brings you into therapy.
Moon Shot Therapy– I have defined this as a fast, quickly, over zealous way of looking at therapy. Often associated with other metaphors that relate to the moon such as rocket ships, rocket fuel and the intense energy with a high potential to blow up, under shot, or over shot the target. However, it is positive too. It can also be seen as a dream of a utopic outcome for your life and relationship(s).
Now I would like to offer the other side of the spectrum with the term Incremental.
Incremental Therapy- Relating to or implying an increase or addition, especially one of a series of things, skills, or ideas on a fixed scale.
I would like to offer an AND not OR thought process when thinking of these two terms within therapy. I invite you to consider seeing a place where you do establish a Moon Shot or Dream and use an Incremental plan and pattern to get there.
The following are some ways to develop your Moon Shot by creating incremental goals.
Set An Intention
Anyone that has spent any time with me knows me to be very organic and potentially even a tad bit free flowing. I encourage that within my clients too. Moreover, I foster a space to follow one’s intuition.
And then there is great need to have an intention. A focal point that is manageable. A great deal of why people seek out therapy is they are flooded with a number of emotions, traumatic events to process (and, or) they are looking for clarity. By setting a simple intention for the hour, day or week you will gain incremental power, control and confidence back. On the other hand, if you just give it the old moon shot too early, you may fall short or not have significant clarity on your mission.
Give Time To Modify
I’m not an engineer nor do I play one on TV. However, I do know the best way to attain a goal, gain internal validation and accomplish a moon shot. This is to modify, modify, and modify. When you are able to immerse yourself in what you are doing. Start by becoming aware of things you might feel comfortable modifying. For example, if you are exploring ways to quit a habit, again the quickest way to fail is set up a lofty goal and blindly start going at it. The same goes for if you are trying to cultivate a new habit, incremental modification is a fantastic way to both gain confidence and embrace new patterns. Don’t be afraid of the consistent analysis of a behavior, and maybe at the beginning potentially a little let down. There is a quote from Thomas Edison that goes something like this, “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways it just doesn’t work.”
Shot For the Moon
Long-range goals are necessary and I encourage them with everyone. How on earth would we gain any direction without a little dreaming and fantasy? I think the significance of a proper moon shot entails giving you the freedom to dream, cultivate, and most importantly be gentle with yourself. By having the appropriate support, a safe environment and encouraging community any moon shot will land you right where you want to be.
Above all else when it comes to adopting ways to heal no one can and no one should tell you how fast? How slow? How Deep? Or how shallow you need to go. Ultimately, it is your consent, your choice and your intuition that will guide you.
Dr. Ryan Westrum is a mental health professional that supports individuals, couples and groups in developing plans, goals, and paths to wholeness. He specializes in addiction recovery, trauma, and relationship conflict. For a complementary consultation email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 952-261-5269.