Stuck in “before.”


I was watching a make-over show on TV this morning. The woman they were “working on” had her hair completely transformed by this super friendly and attentive hairdresser. When he was done highlighting and snipping and blowdrying, she looked absolutely amazing! As he slowly spun the chair around for the big reveal, he asked her what she thought.

The woman stared blankly at herself in the mirror for about 30 long seconds and then said “I don’t know, I guess I just need to get used to it.”

My jaw did his.

Next was a session with a make-up artist and guess what, her reaction was the same.

Every one of these professionals was highlighting every single best feature this lady had, but it was as if she simply didn’t want to see them. This poor woman was completely invested in a lesser, smaller, more invisible version of herself…but her appearance was actually far from neutral.  She had become so sloppy, her image so off-putting, that it was actually pushing people away while simultaneously attracting negative attention..and as the show progressed, you could see that she was slowly coming to terms with the truth that she was doing it on purpose because she wanted to be left alone.


In the end, after buying all new clothes and getting plenty of friendly counseling, she seemed to have a breakthrough. Her smile was big and authentic and you could see that she was ready to commit to an exciting journey of self discovery and realization.  She was ready to become an active participant in her own life and open herself up to as of yet unknown experiences. She finally realized that her appearance could become a doorway instead of a wall- one through which she could head out into the world and invite new friends to come in as well. It was an awesome transformation both externally and internally; a rebirth more than a makeover. I felt moved, inspired and hopeful.

Don’t you just love a happy beginning?

You’ve got one life….





Becoming an expert..


I was reading an interesting piece yesterday about how the US Treasury Department trains people to identify counterfeit bills. You’d think they would carefully study the various forms of fakes, but instead they focus on the authentic currency and become experts on that instead.

It makes sense doesn’t it?  You become so familiar with what’s authentic and desired that any variation or deviation immediately stands out.

Huh….time for immediate real life application! 👍

For starters, you have to know exactly what you want.  Whether you are looking for an apartment, working towards a better body, searching for a soul mate, a new job or a happier have to really study and become an expert on what’s important to you. You need to create a crisp and clear image of what your authentic “gold standard” looks like.

When my daughter was searching for a new place to live, she had a spreadsheet listing her “must-haves” and her negotiables. This very specific list was an invaluable guide as we rushed around looking at various properties to rent.  Her ability to measure each option against her preferences kept us hyper-focused and on track.  She found an apartment in a brand new, unfamiliar city, in one day.

It seems so simple, but you have to become an expert on what you want.

If your goal is to get in shape, you can’t spend every morning examining what you hate about your body in the mirror. Instead, create a specific image of the improvements you are after and focus on that. If you are looking for a partner, don’t spend weeks dissecting failed relationships, focus instead on the type of person you think would be a great match- be specific and use that as your guide.

I can personally attest to the many hours I’ve wasted because I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was really after. Conversely, when I “name it and claim it” I usually am successful in my pursuit.

Recently, I had a prolonged problem with an extended car warranty. The issue was bouncing back and forth and back and forth until I finally contacted the manager and told him specifically, clearly, what I wanted- in this case a full and immediate refund from the dealership- I did not want to be stuck between them and the warranty company for one more day..

A check arrived Fed-Ex within 24 hours.

The only thing that changed this situation was I finally was able to CLEARLY articulate a very specific and attainable goal..I didn’t want “the problem fixed” anymore, because truthfully,  I didn’t even know what “the problem” was..

I wanted $588 from the dealer..



Redirecting our focus and energy from the problem to the solution, from failure to success, from the fake to what’s real, from what’s broken to what works, from what bothers us to what we desire…becoming an expert at identifying what we want....This is a strategy for success that’s worth examining..

one that’s curiously brought to you by the US Treasury Department..

Go figure. 😉









Teaching an old dog new tricks..

old dog

Anyone who owns an animal knows how long it takes to teach them “new tricks..”

..but they will also tell you that nothing comes close in difficulty to breaking old, bad habits.

The same holds true for humans.

One of the surprises of middle age has been that the process of learning and unlearning hasn’t stopped.  Like lint, I have picked up quite an assortment of habits over the years, some of which have served me poorly and need to be addressed.

Lucky for me, my “play-doh-ego” is still soft & malleable enough to be remolded.  It’s a challenge, but I love the idea that at 54 I am still a work in progress.

So in answer to the question can you teach an old dog new tricks and break a few bad habits?

The answer is absolutely yes, if you are willing.









Why 10,000 Steps?


Part of my new fitness routine includes walking 10,000 steps every other day.  As I have previously shared..this is no easy feat. So I started to wonder, what’s the deal –

why 10,000 steps?

  1. Pedometers sold in Japan in the 1960s instructed users to try and walk 10,000 steps a day…yes, you read that right..the 1960s! 😱 10,000 steps took hold as the number to try and reach- Fitbit promotes the same number today.
  2. Health effects-One study found that women who increased their step count to nearly 10,000 steps a day reduced their blood pressure after 24 weeks. Another study of overweight women found that walking 10,000 steps a day improved their glucose levels.
  3. To meet the CDC’s recommendation for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, you need to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day.
  4. If you normally walk about 5,000 steps a day, getting in an extra 30-minute, brisk walk into your day would take you to about 8,000 steps.
  5. The average U.S. adult walks about 5,900 steps daily.

So how do I get to 10,000 steps?

A. There must be at least one fast paced, decently long walk in there. Nothing crazy, but it must land somewhere between 3 and 4,000 steps. It is pretty close to impossible to reach 10,000 steps without a dedicated walk unless your job has you on your feet all day.

B. I park out in the middle of nowhere. See picture below..this was where I parked at Costco yesterday.. so yeah.



Ditto for the grocery store and when I went to Walgreens I parked in an entirely different lot in front of a restaurant. To make up for the time spent walking..I speed it all up, walking at a very fast pace.

C. Sometimes you gotta do some crazy stuff. Once, when I knew I needed extra steps, I unloaded the groceries into the house pretty much one bag at a time. Did it all take longer? Yes, but again..I walked at a very quick pace.

So that’s the low down on 10,000 steps. If you don’t have the free app on your phone- give it a try.  If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how active your day is.








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