Challenged, Committed, Connected


Happy New Year! I’ve always loved the concept of a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning. It fills my heart with so much hope and anticipation for what can be. Every New Year’s Eve I reflect on the past year, on the lessons I’ve learned, the mistakes I’ve made, the things I’m grateful for, and my hopes and dreams for the future.

This year, instead of writing my goals, I decided to set intentions for how I wanted to feel each day. I read a great book this past year by Danielle Laporte called, The Desire Map, and in the book she suggests instead of writing a long To-Do list of goals, which typically turns out to be so discouraging after botching it two days into the New Year, to set intentions based on how you want to feel each day. Danielle says when we set goals it’s not the actual goal we are after, but the feeling that goal will bring to us. The concept was completely different from what I’ve always done, but I had to agree with her thoughts on goal-setting. I realized my system of creating New Year’s resolutions wasn’t really producing the results I desired, so I’ve decided to give it a go!

The three intentions that came to my mind immediately were:

  • I want to feel challenged
  • I want to feel committed
  • I want to feel connected

Knowing how I want to feel helps me gage if the activities I’m doing each day are in alignment with those intentions or not. The goal for me is to make sure I experience each of those feelings through most or at least some of my activities each day.

For me, and probably a lot of other people, Fear is the single biggest factor that holds me back from reaching my full potential. However, I notice when I face my fears, I feel the most fulfilled. This leaves me with two options:

  • I can experience the dichotomy between staying in my comfort zone feeling safe and the sinking feeling in my stomach that I’m not and never will reach my full potential while making the “safe” choice.
  • I can choose to get really uncomfortable doing the things that scare the heck out of me, knowing I will make mistakes and fail at times, but trusting I will be moving closer to reaching my full potential by taking action.

When I break it down between those two options, only the second one will result in me feeling more fulfilled. So, I set the intention to challenge myself each day. Whether that is by making a phone call to book a new speaking event, submitting an article to a magazine, sharing my story with large audiences, or writing my book. Each day I want to do something that makes me uncomfortable, because that feeling of being challenged assures me I’m stretching, learning, and growing into the woman I know I’m meant to be.

I want to feel committed to what I’m doing. Because I’m so multi-passionate, there are times I semi-commit to something and then, like a squirrel sees a nut, I shift focus to the next shiny object without ever completing the first commitment. So this year one of my intentions is to commit to projects I’m passionate about and see them to completion. This will take focus and dedication, but I love how I feel when I do what I say I’m going to do and when I complete a project.

Finally, I’ve realized over the years the best part of sharing my family’s story and Andrew’s books has been the depth of connection I receive with those I come in contact with at speaking events, or those who’ve purchased the books, and those of you who read and follow my blog. I would not want to do any of this if I didn’t receive the benefit of connecting with people through sharing my challenges and allowing them to feel seen and heard in sharing theirs. I want to feel connected to people in everything I do and share. For me that requires vulnerability, honesty, and authenticity.

I’m really excited about all the new projects in the works for this year and can’t wait to share them with you as they unfold. Now, I would love to hear some of your intentions for 2016! How do you want to feel each day? Why are those feelings important to you? Can’t wait to read your thoughts. Thank you for spending time with me today! Happy 2016! Blessings.


PS – Looking to make 2016 the best year yet? If you want Ellie and me to come speak and sign some Ellie Project books, shoot me an email at [email protected]. My speech is powerful, inspirational, and about living your legacy today! It’s good for men and women, corporate groups, mom’s groups, Bible Study groups, community groups, etc. Big or small, group size is of no importance. We are excited to come share this powerful message with you!


PPS – Share the gift of building lifetime character lessons for each letter of the alphabet with a special child in your life! To get your copy of The Ellie Project or The Ellie Project Stationery Set, click here!




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