2016 | A Year of Success

2016-A Year of Success What would you be doing if you knew you couldn’t fail? This profound and thought-provoking question was recently asked me by my dear friend Stephanie. So what would you do this year if you knew you would succeed no matter what? Imagine all the possibilities: would you invent a new life-saving procedure? Apply for that executive position you’ve been wanting? Create and publish – a song, a novel, a play? Really, the prospects are limitless.


But in order to fully understand success, we must first look at failure. What really is failure? We all have different definitions of failure, simply because we have different values and life experiences. A failure to one person might simply be a great learning experience for someone else. History is filled with great people who “failed” many times before they met with phenomenal success.


One such person in our recent history is Walt Disney, one of the most creative geniuses of the 20th century. I have a favorite quote by him that I keep where I can see it often: “It’s kinda fun to do the impossible.” In his earlier years, Disney was once fired from a newspaper because he was told he lacked creativity. Trying to persevere, he formed his first animation company, calling it Laugh-O-Gram Films. He managed to raise $15,000 for the company but eventually was forced to close it down. Desperate and out of money, Disney found his way to Hollywood and faced even more criticism and failure until finally, his first few classic films started to skyrocket in popularity.


I would suggest we look at failure as mere obstacles, and obstacles are there to be overcome. With everything that doesn’t work out, we have learned something valuable. With that mindset, I would submit that the only way to truly fail is to never get off the couch and try. So as long as we are trying, we are learning – we are succeeding.


Once you are out of the fear of failure and into the joy of success, how do you make great things happen? First, assess your gifts, talents, and interests and make a plan. Most are familiar with Steven R Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Here are the highlights of his formula for success:

  • Be proactive. Life doesn’t just “happen”. You create it, whether you realize that or not, so take responsibility for your life, your choices.
  • Begin with the end in mind. All things are created twice – once in the mind, and then in the physical realm. This requires imagination, and also honesty – are you really who you want to be? Are you doing what you really want to do? If no to these questions, then you have some soul-searching to do. Create your own destiny and secure the future you envision.
  • Put first things first. Pretty self -explanatory, but easier said than done. Spend some time prioritizing things in your life. You’ll know when you get it right – good things will start happening.
  • Think win-win. Basically, it’s the attitude of seeing things as cooperative, not competitive. I love this one, and I’ll write a future article on this alone. To me, it’s all about living in abundance – no comparing, but knowing that success is one of those things that is enough to go around.
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood. We see life through our own eyes, but when we can see it from another’s perspective, we can see a bigger, more complete picture. Now we are better able to make successful choices.
  • Synergize. Who can help you with your goals? Let other people assist you – people who are expert at what they do.
  • Sharpen the saw. You are your own greatest asset. Therefore it is imperative that you take care of you. Renew yourself often.


When looking at the New Year through the lenses of Success, what are we going to do differently? You were not put on this earth to hide – you were put here to succeed. Now go do the impossible, and have fun.

The Skinny on Self-Acceptance

 I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. Erma Bombeck What if someone told you that the key to weight loss was in your thoughts and emotions, not so much your diet. You would probably think they were crazy. Well, call me crazy I guess, because that’s exactly what I’m telling you.


Society has taught us that losing weight is all about willpower and counting calories. So when somebody cheats on their diet, they are lacking self -control. This always ends with the person feeling guilty and disgusted, with the end result being weight gain instead of loss. This also furthers a person’s tendency toward self-loathing, which is the opposite of the self -love and acceptance that is needed.


When I work with a client, I help find and release blocks that they are carrying around subconsciously. Many times these blocks are a hindrance to their weight loss goals. For example, if a person is holding onto feelings of their weight being a protection, then they will sabotage any diet they try. They won’t have a clue why they are doing it, and will chalk it up to a lack of willpower. They will then go from one diet to another, thinking that they will some day find the right one for them. This frustrating cycle will repeat itself unless they come to the realization that there is something hidden within themselves that is keeping success at bay. I have personally experienced this awful cycle myself, and have learned the importance of self -love, and its role in losing weight.


Thoughts affect our behaviors. These thoughts are provoked by emotions, which have a powerful impact on the choices we make. So if we are carrying the negative emotions of rejection, humiliation, or abandonment, we will tend to eat accordingly: stuffing ourselves until we are ill, “inhaling” our food instead of chewing it, or the complete opposite -- starving ourselves thin.


So what now, you ask. The following are some empowering actions I have incorporated into my business to help my clients conquer the weight loss quest once and for all. Some of these ideas come from my SimplyHealed training, and some I just recently found in a great book called, “Just Listen to Your Body and Eat”, which fully addresses the concept of honoring our bodies:

  • Trade all negative self-talk with uplifting affirmations – instead of, “I never lose weight no matter what I do”, tell yourself, “My healthy body naturally aligns itself with its correct weight”.
  • Address hormonal imbalances – these also have an emotional/subconscious origin, many times being an issue that runs in the family (generational).
  • Recognize where you are being too hard on yourself, and work every day to love who you are right now. By caring for yourself, you will naturally want to eat better because you will honor who you are, and will want to nourish your body (not just feed it).
  • Keep a food journal for a period of time, where you list what you have eaten that day. Just observe, don’t judge. This will help you correlate the emotions that are tied to the eating. Eventually you will be able to recognize what is driving you to eat when you are not hungry, or grabbing for the junk food instead of a nourishing meal. (This is huge, because it will help you see the connection with every other aspect of your life – very empowering!)


Life is short. And precious. Learn to honor yourself so that your thoughts and feelings reflect this truth. Magical things will happen – you will enjoy healthier foods, desire physical activity, and experience an abundance of energy. The weight will then take care of itself gracefully and effortlessly.