Happy New Year! And a Few Questions to Lead You Into 2017

Happy New Year!!

I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that 2016 is in the rear-view mirror and it’s now 2017.

The transition from December 31st to January 1st is just a single second, as is the changeover from any day to the next, but energetically it’s far from an ordinary changeover.

For the briefest of moments, we experience a clear demarcation between an ending and a beginning.

The confluence of endings and beginnings isn’t unusual; it happens all the time. But other than birthdays and anniversaries, they don’t tend to happen on predictable, recurring dates. And that makes the changeover from one year to the next special.

So before you fully leave last year behind and bound, saunter, slink, leap, scurry, or skip into the year that’s just a few days old, take a few moments to do so intentionally and lovingly.

And yes, I did say intentionally AND lovingly!

Without an intentional transition, you miss the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate all that happened in the prior year, so you can step into the New Year with focus and purpose.

And without bringing love into the equation, it’s far too easy to look back at what you didn’t accomplish and the ways in which you didn’t get your *%^$ together. And that tees you up to start the New Year thinking not-very-nice thoughts about yourself or coming up with a list of correct-my-flaws resolutions or (gasp!) both.

Here’s something different to do this year :-).

Acknowledge, celebrate, learn.
then set the stage for what you want to create this year.

Here are a few questions to help you create the conditions for an intentional and loving transition into 2017, setting you up for a successful and happy New Year! Spend some time reflecting on both the questions and your answers … it’s a lovely gift to give yourself!

Acknowledge, celebrate, learn

  • How did you grow in 2016?
  • What’s different today versus the start of last year? What did you let go of? What did you create space for?
  • Who did you become?

Creating what’s next

  • What do you want 2017 to be about?
  • What are you bringing into the New Year from last year? And what are you leaving behind?
  • How do you want to experience the year?
  • What do you want to create in your life this year? What do you want to learn, and how do you want to grow?
  • How will you honor all of your learning and growth this year? (Not just the pieces that come wrapped in pretty packages. All of it!)

And last, but most certainly not least …

  • Are you willing to give yourself permission to be YOU in all your glorious, messy, flawed, and perfect humanness?

From my heart to yours, wishing you a 2017 filled with success, happiness, and growth!

6 Patterns That Derail Success and Happiness

life-begins-at-the-end-of-your-comfort-zoneLast year, I leapt out of my comfort zone and launched a 4-month, virtual group program into the world. The program didn’t even have a name at the time, but nonetheless I began reaching out to women in my circle who I thought might be interested.

Have I mentioned that it’s super uncomfortable for me to show up without my Is dotted and Ts crossed?!

I’m so glad I gave myself permission to walk through that discomfort! I’ve just finished the second iteration of the Bold Move Coaching Program (yes, it now has a name), and I could never have imagined how much I’d love this incarnation of my work.

However, there was an alternate path sitting in front of me. I could have gotten stuck in a well-worn pattern of getting ready to be ready, making absolutely sure every one of those Is was dotted and every single T was crossed … and the program would still be languishing on my I’d-love-to-do-this list.

It wasn’t an automatic choice. As soon as I reached the point where I knew it was time to pick a date for the pilot and start the enrollment process, my inner critic (who often goes by the names of Fear and Worry) started in on me.

Inner Critic: You can’t put this out there! The details aren’t all nailed down!
Me: But I can’t work out the details without doing the pilot.
Inner Critic: But what if you’ve missed something important? That would be horrible!!!
Me: I’m quite sure I’ve missed something since I’ve never done this before. I’ll just fix it during the pilot.
Inner Critic: What?!! You’re going to jump into this knowing you’ve missed something? OMG, YOU CAN’T DO THAT!! What if you screw it up? What will everyone think?
Me: Well, if it blows up, which it probably won’t, it won’t feel great. But it’ll feel much worse to not even try.
Inner critic (in her snarky voice): Okay, just don’t blame me when …

You get the picture :-).

My inner critic was doing her darndest to keep me safely ensconced in my comfort zone by tapping into the pattern she knew I was most susceptible to: getting ready to be ready.

Happily, this time I took a deep breath and gave myself permission to step over the edge of my comfort zone – even though that’s the path of most resistance.

Even when they’re keeping us from going for what we want, comfort zones are comfortable places to be.

And we all have at least one pattern that will keep us stuck in our comfort zone, if we aren’t careful.

Are you thinking about a bold professional move? Here are the six common patterns most likely to flare up!

  1. Getting ready to get ready. This pattern has two flavors: “dot every I and cross every T” or “get everything else on my plate taken care of first.”
  2. All or nothing.  “I can’t get started until I can do it all at once.”
  3. Dabbling … dipping a toe into the water and quickly pulling it back out.
  4. Overthinking. You invest a lot of mental energy thinking about taking action instead of investing the energy to actually take action and go after what you want.
  5. Getting stuck in overwhelm. Exactly what it sounds like.
  6. “As soon as I have more time” syndrome. Sure, there are times when it doesn’t make sense to add something else to your plate. But if you’re frequently waiting to go after what you want until you have more time versus taking small, steady steps forward, that’s a pattern.

Which is your default pattern(s)? And what bold move is it holding you back from?

It’s absolutely within your power to change your pattern as long as you’re willing to give yourself permission to make a different choice. It will be uncomfortable, but it’s worth it – because you deserve success and happiness!

“You can choose discomfort or you can choose regret.” ~ Brene Brown


Six Beliefs That Make Anything Possible

Not much has been happening on my blog for the past 18 months. Disappearing with no explanation is not my norm!

But 2015 kicked my butt in a way it’s never been kicked before. Early in the year my sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and my mother’s life turned upside down with health issues. By the end of the year I’d lost five people I loved, including my mother in December. (My sister was not one of them; she’s doing brilliantly well.)

I’ve never been so happy to see a year come to an end!

The universe must have decided a balancing act was called for, because 2016 has been on the opposite end of the spectrum. The year has been filled with an abundance of goodness, including weddings, graduations, my sister’s good health, and awesome clients who are stretching their comfort zones, making bold professional moves, and shining their lights out into the world.

That would be quite enough, but the icing on the cake is watching my 22-year-old niece Alyssa taking herself out into the world in a seriously bold way.

Four years ago, she graduated from high school bubbling over with joy and possibilities. As I sat in the stands, I was surprised to find myself getting teary-eyed. Huh?! I’m the cool aunt, not the emotional parent!

But then I realized my emotion was my deep desire that she hold on to the feeling that she can create anything in her life. That no matter what bumps, moments of despair, or twists and turns her life takes, she never stops believing.

Fast forward four years.

Once again I sat in the stands, watching Alyssa graduate from the University of Maryland. This time I wasn’t teary. I was bursting with pride at the fact that she’s still bubbling over with joy and possibilities.

I’m so proud of the way she threw herself into her college experience. No dabbling for this young woman!

I’m so proud of the way she navigated the twists and turns her life did indeed take, including her mother’s breast cancer.

And I’m beyond proud that she’s followed her dream of moving to Denver, despite not knowing a single person there. Her comment to me was, “If I move to Denver and don’t like it, I can undo it. But if I don’t give it a try, I’ll always regret it.” She’s so much gutsier than I was at the beginning of my professional life!

Four years ago, I shared with her my hardest-learned lessons for living in possibility. I’m awestruck by the way she’s lived them all! Her life isn’t done taking twists and turns, so my wish is that she keeps holding these six beliefs that make anything possible:

Mindset matters. In the words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Action follows thought. Without action, not much is possible. And without a belief that “you can, why bother even taking action? Whatever your “it” is, choose to believe in yourself.

Commitment breeds success. I’ve always known I (and you) can do anything I put my mind to. I proved it to myself when I passed the CPA exam in one try and in many other ways at other times over the years. And I also have plenty of examples where I talked a good talk about what I wanted to accomplish but never did much more than dabble. It’s no surprise I wasn’t particularly successful in those cases. Whatever your dream or goal, if it’s something you genuinely, from-the-bottom-of-your-heart want, commit seriously to giving it your all.

Positive energy lifts you up and negative energy drags you down. Be intentional about the people you surround yourself with, the environment you create at home, and the places you choose to hang out.

Obstacles are made for climbing over. Life is filled with challenges. You can choose to be the person who rises up to meet them and who knows there’s more than one path to create what you want. Or you can view roadblocks as a sign that it’s just not possible. It all depends on your perspective. Please, please, please pick the first option. And speaking of obstacles …

Fear of failure is the biggest possibility killer on the planet. My biggest regrets are all about the goals and dreams I didn’t pursue out of fear. And the things I tried that didn’t work out as hoped? No regrets. Because the growth and learning that came from each of them, albeit sometimes painful, ultimately led to something good.

What you need always shows up when you pay attention … “randomly” crossing paths with a college friend who connects you to your perfect job right in the middle of your search … support from your friends in the midst of a crisis … or landing in a situation so miserable you’re finally compelled to overcome your fears and make a big change.

Choose your mindset. Commit to your dreams. Surround yourself with positive energy. Climb over the obstacles you encounter. Embrace failure as part of the process. Trust that what you need will show up.

When you do that, anything is possible.

“Our thoughts and imagination are the only real limits to our possibilities.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

What lies over the edge of your comfort zone

Comfort Zone

Happiness is the way

Your PathHappiness is a journey, not a destination.

For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.

At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness.

Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.

~ Alfred D. Souza

Gratitude and choice

“The more adept we become at feeling love and gratitude for all life’s earthly learning experiences, the more quickly we are reminded that, whatever hardship may be placed before us, it is our choice always to return to a place of love and gratitude and to give thanks for all that still remains.”
― Molly Friedenfeld

The importance of making the unconscious conscious.

Making the unconscious conscious

Courageously creating your path

Crooked Tree“One does not walk into the forest and accuse the trees of being off-center,

Nor do they visit the shore and call the waves imperfect.

So why do we look at ourselves this way?”~ Tao Te Ching 

Action: conscious movement

“Action is movement with intelligence. The world is full of movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.”
~ BKS Iyengar

From the impossible to the possible