New year new decade: 7 steps to success

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In my post, “It’s not too early…” I share a link on strategies to attract everything you want in 2020. With two months remaining in 2019, I challenge readers (and myself) to begin now. To recap: 1) Identify what you really want and be sure you really want it; 2) visualize your future self doing what it takes to get there; 3) believe that you can do it; 4) clarify your intention and give it your attention; 5) prepare for when the slope gets slippery; 6) hold yourself accountable, but be gentle with yourself and 7) practice gratitude every step of the way. It all sounds simple, right? I think where I struggle the most is at the beginning: What do I really want? Going forward into this new decade, the key for me is to keep it simple and straightforward. And one (major) “want” only. Otherwise, it looks a lot like self-sabotage and my best intentions go up in smoke. Every time.

What do you really want?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Trusting the destination

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trusting in the destination

During a recent visit with a close family member, she thanked me for my transparency after I’d shared a personal battle with which I wrestle. Later that day, that same transparency fell under attack when someone accused me of acting and speaking devoid of sincerity. Perhaps many of us hide behind walls in order to protect our vulnerability, but find ourselves able to shed the self-imposed masks in the presence of those who inspire, embolden and love us without condition into our true selves—ickies and all. So when our transparent selves are rejected, it’s not unusual to feel battered and bruised. However, the next morning, my puffy eyes the sole evidence of a confused and depleted heart, I spent my quiet time randomly choosing devotions that provided a comforting balm. And one after the other reminded me to trust the destination no matter what my journey looks like today. While I continue to be true to self.

How easy is it for you to trust the destination?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Doubt paralyzes

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[Image credit: Jeroen van Oostrom]

Fall down seven times, stand up eight. ~ Japanese Proverb

Doubt can be debilitating.  Who doesn’t struggle with feelings of not measuring up (see Never settle for second best) or faulty judgment?  If you are a doubter, you know it can be as destructive as fear if allowed full reign.  It may paralyze progress or prevent us from pursuing our dreams, figuring out what works and what doesn’t and how to get back up after we’ve fallen.  And not once or twice, but as many times as it requires (provided we take the first step to begin with).  Doubt also begets second-guessing — of whatever it is we strive to do or to be.  Remove doubt, and we discover (to the irritation of our naysayers) that we do measure up but according to our agenda, not theirs.  So what if you fall down seven times?  Stand up again, dust yourself off and know with absolute certainty that it’s always the write time to believe in yourself.

Are you defined by doubt or assurance?

The sweet taste of success

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Have you ever wanted something so badly you swore you could taste it?  What about the times your mouth salivated as you anticipated that first bite of freshly baked chocolate chip cheesecake, homemade apple pie or a juicy cut of steak, only to finally sink your teeth in and discover reality didn’t even come close to your fantasy?  This can also happen with a job you’ve worked hard to attain, the expectation of a blind date or a long-awaited first kiss, the excitement over a movie you’ve wanted to see for months, a gift to be unwrapped or perhaps a dream vacation.  You may find yourself bored or disenchanted with one or all of the above.  But what about those other times when the end result supersedes your wildest desires?  What was your secret then?  Maybe it was because you didn’t let fear of disappointment stand in your way, or you kept an open mind and let life unfold in its time.  I have a few of those success stories tucked away, myself, when I need a reminder that wishes do come true.  You just have to believe.

Right now is there something you want so badly you can taste it?

Being true to yourself

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[Image credit: Photography by BJWOK]

… be yourself — not your idea of what you think somebody else’s
 idea of yourself should be.
~ Henry David Thoreau

I think every child should be raised believing they’re good enough … just the way they are.  For so many years, I was on the outside looking in and wishing I was one of the “popular” girls.  Willing myself to be shorter and less gawky, dressed more stylishly, have prettier hair, clearer skin, younger parents, be better at sports (okay, be good at sports), possess curves in all the right places, ooze with confidence and ambition and the list goes on.  Becoming an adult didn’t do much to change this thought process, just included different ideals (however skewed).  But I think I may be one of those “late bloomers” — not coming into my own until the last few years.  If I knew then what I know now, I wonder if I would have spent as much time wishing and oftentimes attempting to be someone I’m not — saying all the right things and going through the motions.  It certainly would have prevented a lot of wasted time, second-guessing and poor choices.  But maybe that was the only way for me to get from Today to the promise of Someday.  Because with each yesterday behind me and tomorrow ahead of me, I become more sure of myself and what I want out of life.  I just hope I haven’t waited too long to figure it out, and that I have the courage to go after it.

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. ~ Dr. Seuss

Are there areas in your life, where you are less than true to yourself?