Pruning the Garden, Pruning Life & Independence

new growth, empowerment, inspiration

Happy July Victory Chicks!

Last month I attended a funeral and a memorial service. The funeral, in early June, was for my brother, 63, who died unexpectedly. The memorial service was last Saturday for Rose, one of Joseph’s long-time clients, who died of Covid last Christmas Eve; she was 92.

My brother’s funeral was short and sad. Everything was at the funeral home and his son-in-law gave a lovely eulogy. There was no burial service. My relationship with my brother was problematic and we seldom spoke. When I found out he died, I wasn’t really sure how I felt. It took time for me to sort out my feelings.

The memorial service was joyful. It was at church and Rose’s minister, children, and nephew spoke about her. Joseph said they totally captured the essence of the woman who – until lockdown – was on his massage table weekly. The organist played Silent Night – Rose’s favorite Christmas hymn. A luncheon was held outside; it was hot. Several one-minute drizzles cooled us and were welcomed.

Pruning on My Mind

By the time we got home in mid-afternoon, my patio tomato plants were begging for water. I have 10 of them. I accidentally bought them – way too many for my 3 planters. I couldn’t let them die and my neighbor didn’t want the extras. So I googled and read warnings about how overcrowding could end up killing the plants, or making them diseased…thus stealing from me the pleasure of a home-grown tomato and basil salad (with evoo and lots of garlic). OH-NO!

new beginnings

So all season I’ve been watching the plants extra carefully. That’s what I was doing on Saturday when I found myself picking off big leaves that didn’t have flowers. I’d never done that before and after I did, got nervous that I might kill the plants. So I stopped and googled.

Turns out, I was doing the exact right thing. Those big and non-flowering leaves hide the sun from the producing parts of the plants. Pruning them not only allows more sunlight, but “removing dead, diseased, or just unnecessary leaves and stems from tomato plants increases the fruit.”

HA! Whodathunkit? Well, maybe you knew it, but it was news to me. I’m guessing my Italian ancestors – including my mother – were guiding my hands or whispering in my brain.

So I went back to pruning tomatoes, and while I did, my brother and Rose came into my mind. Why were they pruned off the tree of life? I believe that if their job wasn’t done, they wouldn’t have died. So they each served their purpose here. But how will their passings bring increase to those whose lives their tree touched?

What’s been Pruned for You?

What about other things in life – like Covid confinement? That was certainly a pruning – wouldn’t you agree? What was pruned from your life over that year-long lockdown? How will that thinning out bear fruit for you in the coming year? Maybe you’ve already seen some good? Cheez-Louise, if nothing else, you know how to use zoom!

But I’ll bet it’s more than that – so please share it on the Victorious Woman Facebook page – we can all always use a little good news!

Happily, unlike July 4th of 2020, on this holiday weekend, we can enjoy time with family and friends – and fireworks (one of my all-time favorite things!). I do that and also help Joseph set up his healing station so that it’s ready for him after next week’s prostate surgery. We’re nervous, so please keep us in your prayers.

growth, personal and garden

And, of course, I’ll be back on my deck pruning those tomatoes…looking forward to that tomato salad, and thinking about how lucky I am that my tomato-growing ancestors chose to leave Italy and come to the United States so they could have the independence here that didn’t have in their birth country.

Maybe your ancestors did the same…each looking for something better here than they had before…their own independence. We can celebrate their courage and victory as we celebrate ours this holiday. 

Guess What? Exciting News about the Five-Year Marriage!

I’m excited to be quoted in both Marie Claire Magazine (my first international publication), and She’s SINGLE Magazine.   

Don’t forget…I’ll be doing a few workshops for both Savvy Sizzle and Five-Year Marriage (that once-crazy idea is getting more notice these days especially with millennials!). I’ll keep you posted about when in August! Plan to join me because for one of both of them because they’ll be GOOD – and you don’t want to miss out!

american independence, your independence


With love and in victory,

I’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationships. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark. Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal VictoriesVictory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

Annmarie Kelly, speaker, author, lifestyle influencer for women over 40

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW. WANT MORE?

CONNECT with other VICTORY CHICKS in a Private FaceBook Group

You can learn more about Annmarie and get free tips and advice about
Victorious Woman and Five-Year Mariage here:

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Are You Dreaming Big Dreams or Simply Setting Goals?

Inspiration for midlife transformations

Hi and Happy Summer!

I was sitting in my office late one Tuesday in mid-May when I heard the corridor door open. I was startled at first but I checked the clock – 6pm – and realized it was the cleaning staff.

A few seconds later, a young woman was standing in my doorway. She was new and asked if it was OK to empty my trash. Of course it was, I told her. As she did the job, I started a conversation.

In the few minutes I learned her name is Inez and she is seventeen, in 11th grade, and is helping to support her family (including her 5-month-old son). Her mother works two jobs because her mother kicked her father out when he cheated (for the fifth time). There is no child support.

It was a lot to hear and you and I know that when that much personal information gets shared so fast, the person telling it is in pain. Her story reminded me of some of the stories I heard while doing interviews for my first book: Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal Victories. The difference is that those women had already come out on the other side. Inez is still in it, probably near the beginning – and she doesn’t even know it yet.

I wanted to help somehow, and what I knew I could do was give her a copy of Victorious Woman. Maybe she would read it and find some solace and hope in the many stories of women overcoming seemingly impossible odds. However, I gave her an actual book (not Kindle or audio) and she’s seventeen…so, I thought, who knows if she’ll even look at it.

The next time I saw Inez, we talked more. She actually read some of Victorious Woman and asked me questions – including about my own life.

This past Tuesday, I was there when the corridor door opened – but there was no Inez. Apparently, she quit. It wasn’t a big surprise because turnover is huge.

What was a surprise came next. I opened a desk drawer and saw a note from Inez. In it she thanked me for listening to her and helping her find peace. She compared herself and her life to a caterpillar, saying “people don’t like them…they are ugly…but when they turn…they fly free.” It was quite an insight into her life.

midlife transformation - lessons from a catepillar

STILL, Flying free…what many of us have been dreaming of doing since the start of the pandemic. Yes, we did things to stay active – or not – but, while we survived, lockdown made us feel like caterpillars. Or maybe that was just me…

If it wasn’t just me, the good news for you and me now is that many of us are fully vaccinated. A doctor I know says she believes we are close to herd immunity. Are we ready to turn into the butterfly…and, if we are, what does “fly free” mean?

Does it mean a new dream?

I recently watched a Super Soul Sunday interview that Oprah did with her mentor, Maya Angelou, about a year before she died. It ended with Angelou reading her poem at President Clinton’s inauguration and this was highlighted: “Lift your eyes upon this day breaking for you, give birth again to the dream.”

Birthing Dreams. Sometimes, when life sucks the energy out of old dreams, it’s frustrating and keeps us from dreaming new ones. Then it takes work to get the energy back. Energy-generators like visioning, daydreaming, taking a class, finding a mentor, talking about the future, researching solutions. Some – or all – of those gin up that visioning energy – the dream-maker energy.

Goals and dreams aren’t the same thing…

Earning a certain amount of money is a goal. Getting a new job or retiring is a goal. BUT, why do it? The WHY is likely to be the dream. For example, when you make more money, what will that get you that will fill you up? A house at the beach, freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want, peace of mind? Knowing the answer is a big step to fulfilling the dream.

Do you have goals…but they aren’t really focused on your big dream? If you don’t know your BIG WHY, you won’t do it. Instead, you’ll be working against your own self-interest…stealing your emotional energy from yourself. Doesn’t make sense, does it?

Joseph’s recent diagnosis has been a catalyst for him and for me to dream bigger – do better at syncing our goals up to our dreams (and let go of the ones that don’t). NOTE: don’t wait until something awful happens in your life to dust off your dreams! Do it now!

What are YOU dreaming about?

What will make you fly free? Is it a new job, better relationship, a missed vacation, restored health, peace of mind, following a too-long-ignored passion? If it isn’t one of those, what is it? Please share it with us on FB a VictoriousWoman Project.

Speaking of the cancer

Joseph finally decided on prostate surgery instead of radiation and it’ll happen on July 12. Please say a prayer for a perfect surgery and an easy recovery – and thanks for your prayers and good thoughts.

After the surgery, we plan to take a vacation. Since Joseph will already be out of work, he wants to extend our trip to Maine by a few days and spend some time on Monhegan Island (made famous in paintings by artists Andrew Wyeth and Jaime Wyeth). In the meantime, we are both reconfiguring our worklife to include more fun as well as some non-business travel.

​And, since I last wrote to you, I’ve been paying more attention to what’s going on with my throat chakra and (good news) my voice is coming back – sometimes even back to full strength. It’s just not consistent yet….up and down.

Cool Publicity for The Five-Year Marriage!

Since we got such a great response from our appearance on The Tamron Hall Show, we are planning some Facebook/Instagram-live segments for the Five-Year Marriage while Joseph is recuperating. Also…more press: I had a great time on the Growth Marriage podcast, and this month I’ll be mentioned in articles in both Marie Claire and She’s SINGLE magazines. Wooo-hooo!

Come fall, and hopefully with my voice back, I’ll be doing a few workshops for both Savvy Sizzle and Five-Year Marriage. I’ll keep you posted! Plan to join me because they will be GOOD – and you don’t want to miss out!

Have a GREAT month – and – DREAM BIG!

With love and in victory,

Annmarie Kelly, speaker, author, lifestyle influencer for women over 40

I’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationship. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark.

Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal Victories, Victory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW.


CONNECT with other VICTORY CHICKS in a Private FaceBook Group

Follow Five_Year Marriage on Facebook:
Follow FYM on Instagram:
Follow Annmarie on Twitter

Like Victorious Woman on FB:​
Subscribe to Victory Chicks Radio & Podcasts:​

31 Days of Victory! 2021

victorious woman month - self-care & empowerment activitiesDid you know that May is officially registered as Victorious Woman Month?

If you were ever going to have a midlife or quarter-life crisis, the past year would have the catalyst above all catalysts for making it happen! The pandemic has challenged even the strongest of us!! So, if it did – or even if you’re just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired of being in lockdown, here’s the antidote! It’s the annual 31-Days to Victory Calendar, published in honor of Victorious Woman month!

My annual “Victory-a-Day” Calendar gives you small things to do each day. some will take just a few meditative minutes to start and then – throughout the day – remind yourself. Others will take 15-30″ and a few (like the declutter day) will take longer. BUT each one will make you feel good when you do it!

You’ll see the activities accommodate the pandemic limitations many of us are still under. One of the last obes is a Victory Happy Hour – because, even if we’re still in restrictions, we can meet for drinks outside.

We’ll be posting the Victory activities daily on the Facebook pageInstagram, and Twitter feeds, and I’ll be blogging about some of them at However, you can get the whole month right now by downloading it here:  Click Here to Download PDFvictory a day - may 2021

If you’ve been feeling stuck, and I know many of you have – me too – this victory-a-day calendar will help you break out of that rut! I hope you and your girlfriends will join me in creating a small victory-a-day in May!

Join me and share your victories on the  Facebook page at @VictoriousWomanProject!

Stay healthy!
With love and in victory,

Spring Time Wake Up Call

Hi and Happy Holidays!

happy easter everyone

It was just about this time last year when officials said if we lock everything down for two weeks, it would stop the spread. Two weeks came and went. On Easter in mid-April, Joseph and I went out for breakfast – Sizzlis and tea at Wawa. We ate them at a nearby park, sitting in our car; we couldn’t sit outside because it was raining.  After breakfast, we took a sanity drive around the Brandywine Valley. It was the first of many weekends when we’d pick up takeout, go to a park with picnic tables, and “eat out” among the trees and flowers.

Whodathunk – 12 months later – most of us would still be locked down!

However, now that the weather is allowing for outdoor seating, we can eat out more. And as more and more people, and younger and younger ones are getting vaccines, things may finally start getting back to some kind of normal. Yayyyy!

Now What?

For the past year I’ve been writing about pick-me-up ideas, and striving to live them along with you. However, in my life, I have some new challenges – two of them. The lesser of them is my voice – it cuts out on me sometimes. So not good for someone whose living depends a lot on speaking. I’ve been to several doctors and had lots of tests  and – good news – I’m in good physical shape. So what’s causing it?

Lately I’ve been going inside…We know the throat chakra is the power center and, no surprise, the past year hasn’t given me – and most of us – any personal power surges. So that’s one idea.

Also, like you, I miss people…and hugs…and laughter. I miss being in-person with you and all the wonderful Victory Chicks – and you guys who love us – who inspire me to get out of bed in the morning. Also, I miss in-person meetings with a new and growing group of Millennials who are curious about the Five-Year Marriage®.

So many of them – especially women – aren’t as interested in giving up their careers and hard-won independence just to be married. Because of that, recent research says that 25% of Millennials are likely to never get married. That’s not very good for society in general.

Still, those younger ones are so interesting as they search for the better way to do “I do” — looking at things like open marriage and polyamory. As they explore, the Five-Year Marriage offers them an approach that is different – but not as different as polyamory and open marriage, and definitely more main stream.

It’s exciting, and I miss the one-on-one and group connection with them.

Here’s the other challenge I’m facing…

The other new wrinkle in my life is that Joseph was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. The good part is that he has been getting PSA tests for 20 years. At his last physical, when he saw a PSA spike, he paid attention fast. So it’s in an early stage.

Since the diagnosis we’ve been seeing lots of doctors and researching the best solutions. I expect that Joseph will decide on his treatment soon, and it’ll most likely happen in May or June.

And, FYI Victory Chicks, I now know more about prostates than I ever wanted to know! My biggest surprise is learning how many men have it – and often don’t even know about it. So take note: if your sweetie, friend, father, or brother isn’t getting his PSA, insist on it – NOW!

It’s funny how most of us Victory Chicks know a lot about our hoohas, but most men know nothing about their prostates – and they don’t want to know. Maybe they would if the prostate had some cute name… 🙂

So, in the same way that you do your regular mammogram and gyn, the men in your life need to be doing his PSA and prostate exam. Yes, I know he says it’s not comfortable. So what? It isn’t comfortable for you when your feet are in stirrups, but you do it.

I learned long ago, we go faster when we go together

Joseph and I are looking at what’s happening with us as a wake-up call. You see, when we “new” thirty-some years ago, we did a lot of visioning and spiritual work. Together we dreamed about what we wanted for our future and where we wanted to go together. Then, at the end of each of our six previous marriages, we reviewed and reset our plans, and those gave us a fresh start in each of our new marriages.

However, something shifted in the past few years. We did our five-year marriage thing in 2018, but since then we aren’t moving in the direction we planned. At first, I thought it was covid – and some of it is. However, by the end of last year, I started discussing the “something’s wrong” with Joseph (it must be the curse – or the blessing – of being married to a teacher/author).

The more we talked, the clearer it became that…(1) we got mentally and spiritually lazy. Maybe it’s because we are now where we dreamed and visioned we would be 30 years ago. As a result, the “hunger” isn’t the same…and, also, we aren’t as perky as we were then. And (2) when we set our goals for our new marriage and our future together, we didn’t do any dreaming or visioning about them. So they were good to talk about doing, we weren’t working together to make things happen.

Here’s the thing…

I truly believe that when you and I don’t create our own vision for the future, we get the “default” version. That’s the “go with the flow” edition of life.

I’m not built for that and neither is Joseph. I’ll bet you aren’t either!

For Joseph and me, I’m finding that there are fewer things that focus the mind like a cancer diagnosis!

So we’re going back to our roots and doing some things we didn’t do before…including reading/listening to books. One of them is old: The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. If you never read it, it’s really worth the read.

In fact, if you want to read it with me, we could discuss it on a zoom meeting – like a book club. If you’re interested, send me an email at with BIG MAGIC in the subject line.

Also, Joseph found this video on YouTube. Kathy Buckley is a deaf woman who tried to commit suicide several times, was hit by a jeep, had cancer and finally decided enough is enough. She shares her story and she’s funny.  I like it and maybe you will too.This is the short version: Kathy Buckley

It’s a new season – Spring, Easter, Passover…a season of rebirth and renewal. Make the most of it!

And, if you would keep Joseph and me in your prayers, I appreciate it!

To those of you who are celebrating…
Chag Pesach Sameach!
Happy Easter!

With love and in victory,

It’s still early in the year and you CAN make 2021 your best year yet!

I’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationship. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark. Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal VictoriesVictory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW. WANT MORE?

CONNECT with other VICTORY CHICKS in a Private FaceBook Group

Follow Five_Year Marriage on Facebook:
Follow FYM on Instagram:
Follow Annmarie on Twitter

Like Victorious Woman on FB:

Subscribe to Victory Chicks Radio & Podcasts:​

Women in History: Midlife Reinvention Inspiration

inspired, womens history, women's empowerment

Abigail and John Adams wrote to each other constantly. In one letter, she reminded John to “remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors…if particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion.”

An Empowered Spouse

That Abigail Adams was really something! She was an empowered spouse a few hundred years before anyone had ever thought of women’s empowerment. Same with Eliza Hamilton. If not for Eliza’s diligent dedication after Alexander’s death, Lin Manuel-Miranda would have had nothing to rap about for his fabulous musical. We also probably wouldn’t have had the Washington Monument. [FYI: Cokie Roberts wrote an amazing book about those women and others – Founding Mothers. So worth the read.]
So many women of the Adams-Hamilton time did amazing things despite wearing those long dresses with endless skirts and tight whalebone bodices. I always wondered how they kept those skirts from the fire in those wide-open hearths. I don’t think I would have managed very well in their shoes, or dresses! A few nights ago, I was making shortbreads. I got distracted checking email and FB. I might never have noticed the biscuits were done if it hadn’t been for the strange, sort of sweet smell, that filled the air. By the time I opened the oven door, the little crusts were a crispy brown.
If it was colonial times, that smell would probably have been my burning skirt. Good thing I live in this century, not that one! Can you imagine what those Colonial women had to do just to live a single day – with no cars, no radio, no phone, no TV, no internet, no washer/dryer, no grocery stores, no tampons, and instead of Revlon or Maybelline, they used soot to darken their eyebrows and pottery pigment for rouge!

You Can Live Your Passion in Spite of the Pandemic

A hundred years later, it was no walk in the park either. Victorian women, like Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott, were mocked and berated when they started fighting for a woman’s right to vote. They were not “proper women,” but they were passionate about what they were doing, and I admire that.

 And here’s an interesting bit of trivia, did you know that during the 100 years of women’s suffrage, there were several pandemics: Yellow Fever, Cholera, Scarlet Fever, Typhoid Fever, Smallpox, and the first polio outbreak? Yes, you and me aren’t the only ones trying to have a life in the midst of the craziness we’ve had this past year!

Obstacles: Is “NO” an Ending or a Beginning?

While those ladies were mere days away from getting the women’s right to vote amendment passed, another woman, one of my personal Women’s History heroines – or sheros – was just graduating from high school. Helen Taussig was born at the turn of the 20th century. She was still a young girl when her mother died of tuberculosis, which she also contracted but survived.

In 1919, just after Congress passed the 19th Amendment so women could vote, Helen got rejected for admission to Harvard Medical School (no women allowed). So instead, she studied medical sciences at Boston University. Though Helen could go to classes, she had to sit apart from the men. She did. Also, she was told she wasn’t likely to graduate – no matter how good her grades were, because if her gender.
Undeterred, Helen finished there just in time to be accepted into Johns Hopkins Medical School – one of the few schools that finally decided to admit women. She wanted to specialize in cardiology but there was only one open slot for a woman in that field, so she went into pediatrics instead. Good thing too. Dr. Helen Taussig later developed the groundbreaking procedure to remedy “blue baby” syndrome. She and her physician-partner saved hundreds of babies from dying!

So many women made history in so many different ways – and did it despite being treated as second class citizens. They also did it while being forced to climb over an avalanche wall of discrimination, socially and economically, to get to where they wanted to go.

Inspired to make some history yourself? 

What do you want? Is there something you want to do – in your life or in your marriage – that you’ve been putting off? What’s stopping you? Have you lost your sizzle? Or are you telling yourself you’re too old, it’s too hard, you don’t have the money, it’s too much work…or making some other inspiration-numbing excuses?

Time to change it up! Make a commitment, TODAY!

Don’t put it off. You can go after whatever it is you want – covid or no covid! During this time Women’s History, find a woman who inspires you. She can be in today’s news, your own circle of friends and colleagues, or a woman from the far past or nearer past – who felt the same “can I do it?” thing. Pick one of those women and make her your inspirational mentor. Study who she is – or was – and find out what kept her going in spite of everything. Copy her quotes and keep them where you can see them. Then figure out what you need to do differently – or more of – to model her. 

If you need some inspiration, pick up a copy of my first book, Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal Victories. In it I tell you stories of real life women – everyday women who faced overwhelming challenges and beat the odds. I personally interviewed every one of them and can tell you each one was just like you and me. When their life got turned upside down, they found it within themselves to do what they needed to do to become victorious. You can download it from Amazon to your Kindle right now: VictoriousWoman 

Want more than the book? Check out my ‘Savvy Sizzle No Regrets‘ Masterclass. It’s 5 weeks of step-by step-guidance during which you rediscover your inner passion, determine a clear, attainable goal and plot out a clear path towards it!

Make this the month YOU start making your own woman’s history!

With love  and in victory,

Are you Putting Off Your Midlife Reinvention?

Does Your Reinvention Feel Stalled?

MidLife Reinvention
Is your MidLife Reinvention stuck?

Does your midlife reinvention feel stuck someplace? Is there something holding you back from taking that next step to getting a fresh start in your personal life or your career? You might be surprised to find the problem – or the “glitch” – could be a something small. Or maybe it’s not a glitch but a piling up of a bunch of small things.

Little Tasks can Overwhelm You and Stall Your Goals

Here’s my story: Last week I got two things done that I’d been putting off.  Two things doesn’t sound like a lot, does it? Not only was it just two things, but neither one was a big deal. In fact, I’d call both of them mildly important and neither one had a real deadline – so, frankly, I wasn’t overly motivated.  The first one required resending a Christmas card. I sent it in mid-December but put the wrong address on it. It came back a few weeks later. I could easily have just forgotten about it, but I always send Christmas cards – it’s sort of my holiday “thing” instead of doing gifts. Also, by the time it came back, I had news for the recipients, so I wanted to add an extra note. So I put it in “my pile” – the stuff I’m going to get to doing at some point.

The other task was cancelling a subscription. I delayed cancelling it because only part of me wanted to cancel. I could have let the subscription ride and cancelled it next year. But doing either made me feel bad. So it, too, ended up in “my pile” of to-do stuff.

A week went by…then two…tree… And I just wasn’t getting them done.

Have Your Midlife Reinvention Plans Stalled? Are You Feeling Stuck?

You know…you aren’t sure what to do, so you do nothing …but then can’t get away from it, so it’s always on your mind? Somehow doing nothing weighs on your mind. It’s like they nag at you…making you feel like a slug and putting a guilt-shadow over your whole mind.

That was me. In the month I delayed taking action, those two little thing nagged at me. Every time I went through the pile, I saw them…and put them back…always with a feeling like I was screwing something and disappointing someone (me!) and, of course, that made me feel bad.  Every time I did it I felt a twinge of something – indecisiveness…guilt…something that didn’t feel good.

Reinvention Solution: Block Out Time for the “Little” Tasks

One day I got so annoyed that I blocked off an hour in my daytime to do it (yes, really…it just took an hour).  First I made the phone call. I was half-hoping that person on the other end would have talked me out of it, but he didn’t. So it got cancelled. Done!

Next I typed up a short note, cut it to fit flat in the card, signed it, found another envelope, put them together, and sealed it. Took me about 30 minutes. I put the letter in the mail pile. It would go out in the next day’s mail.

Whew! Those two little things that nagged at me for over a month were finally done. Yayyy!

What Happened Next is the “Big Secret” to Achieving Your Midlife Reinvention

Once both things were done, I went back to work. What surprised me was how different I felt – like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Or like I could breathe some wonderful fresh air for the first time. I noticed that felt more relaxed.  I found it kind of amusing…until I started to getting some good ideas for a project I was working on – ideas that simply hadn’t been coming, no matter how hard I tried to inspire my creativity.

Then  I remembered…

Little Tasks Weigh on our Minds, Stifling our Creativity & Motivation

A while back I learned about something called the “Clean Sweep” program. I did it while I was in coach training class.  It’s an old, but tried and true method developed by the late Thomas Leonard for [what was then] CoachU.  The idea behind the Clean Sweep  is “that by strengthening the accompanying 100 items in your life, you will reduce stress, increase your energy, and attract better people and opportunities into your life.” When I used it regularly, I got more done , more easily, with less stress. That was because all the little nagging things weren’t slowing me down or holding me back.

What’s Hanging Over You?

“I’m going to [lost weight, start exercising, go back to school, start my business, return to teaching, get a divorce, or whatever] – as soon as I [get through the holidays, when winter is over, organize my files, catalog my crafts/writing/courses, get enough money, find the right school, digitize my pictures]. Then you don’t. Every day or week or month, and every time you feel down or read about someone who is doing what you want to do, it nags at you. It’s lowers your energy level, zaps your creativity, and pushes you in front of the TV for some mindless viewing.

Do You Need a Clean Sweep to Get Your Midlife Reinvention Back on Track?

Give this a try, it can’t hurt and you might just find it really helpful! Here’s what to do:

  1. Set a goal for yourself – something related to your reinvention
  2. Do the Clean Sweep and input your scores.
  3. Decide how often you’ll repeat the Clean Sweep. Once a month for the 1st 3 months is good. You can lengthen or shorten the space depending on what you need.
  4. Pick a couple things to get started with and do them.
  5. Notice what happens – mentally, emotionally, physically.
  6. Keep track – file your clean sweeps, keep a journal, or get an accountability partner.


Ready for your Clean Sweep?

Use this worksheet to guide your Clean Sweep!

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Single on Valentine’s Day? Fall in Love Now…

midlife women valentines day tips for self love

So, it’s Valentine’s Day and you’re single and unattached. Can you still fall in love? Actually…YES! But how and who with? As one woman, who reinvented her life after 40, recently explained, she’s been hurt too many times so now she only wants “BIG LOVE.”

Big Love???

What she meant was not one-on-one romance, but love for the world…for the planet…for all the human race. You get, right? BIG LOVE.

I agree with the big love part – love for others who is experiencing life on the big planet the same time that you are. Also, love for those who went before – not only your direct ancestors, but all the women who walked a tough path and opened it for you. In my life I think about celebs like Katherine Hepburn, Mae West and other women who wouldn’t accept life in the roles others said were theirs. love those women. my idea is having BIG LOVE for yourself…your own heart, your own accomplishments, your own frailties. Being able to do that is REALLY BIG!

However, BIG LOVE can also be the kind of love you need to give to yourself. So many times we think love has to come from outside – loved ones, friends, colleagues, neighbors. Yet the truest and most satisfying love comes when you have BIG LOVE for yourself. Start here:

Valentine’s Day Tips for Women

1 – Make a decision to fall in love with yourself again.

Yes, that’s right – with yourself. Too many times we take ourselves for granted and make others a priority. Take some time to let your unconscious mind know how important you are…to you! A few years ago I found a children’s book (Take Heart My Child) that was beautifully written by the author for her unborn daughter. How can you not feel good reading, “May you strive to be happy, change your course if you’re not, Embrace the world’s colors, Colors others forgot.” Or, “And if you stumble or the path grows too steep, Take heart, my child, Trust yourself, take that leap.”

Taking some time to express your love for yourself – for how your body work and how amazing your mind is – those are great for your self-esteem and self-confidence!

2 – Take yourself out for a date (or, for covid, have a special dinner in).

Do you have a special food – like Maine lobsters or tiramisu? Treat yourself once in a while. Or go to your favorite place and order your favorite meal. Don’t think you’ll savor it alone in a restaurant, then do takeout and, when you get it home, set a nice table, put on music you love, and have a candlelight dinner. Follow it up with some chocolate red wine or hot chocolate spiked with peppermint vodka.

3 – Make it a good night.

After dinner, curl up with a good book, a favorite mushy movie or binge-watch a series on Netflix. My two recent favorites are Schitt’s Creek and Last Tango in Halifax. I also love watching The Holiday…with my favorite-ever movie line: “Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I  can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.”

Falling in love is good – so go BIG…with the one person you are always with, who knows how hard you work, and who can appreciate you the most and the best.

One last thing…dont forget February 15th is Chocolate Sale Day!

If you’re a candy lover like me, you know that the day after Valentine’s, February 15, is a red-letter day for you because all the stores sell the Valentine candy at half-price and by the 17th, at 75% off. I’d love to not know that, but I do…and I stock up on Russell Stover coconut nests (in whatever form they’re in this year) and peanut butter cups. Yes, it’s true, I’m a little too excited about Valentine’s candy…

Have fun loving yourself this holiday weekend!

With love  and in victory,

Are you Starting Over, Reinventing for Your Next Chapter, or Making a Midlife Change?

Then join the Savvy Sizzle ‘No Regrets’ Master class!

In this 4-week class, I’ll take youStep-by-Step, through the lifestyle makeover that let’s you reignite the passion and excitement – and hope – you used to feel.

Are you feeling old, depressed, like your best days are behind you, and there’s nothing good to look forward to anymore? If you want to add some jazz and savvy sizzle and take those ‘shoulda, ‘coulda, woulda’ dreams and make them happen, you need to join my Savvy Sizzle Master class! Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll let you know when and how. Do it here: Newsletter

Looking to Connect with other Midlife Women?

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Strike up the Band & Light the Fireworks!

new midlife reinvention & relationship advice website launched

Hi and Happy February!

Well, I’ve been listening to you. I heard your frustration when you couldn’t find something on or Or about how long pages took to load or that pages were confusing.  That’s annoying for me too. I know when you go online, you want to get info you can use, and find it fast and easy – but you said that wasn’t happening with my sites.

I heard you. You were honest and I appreciated it.

I really want you to have a good experience with me. So I fixed it. Well, technically-speaking, Webmaster extraordinaire Kris fixed it. We took what you said and made changes. The most notable change is that we put Victorious Woman and Five Year Marriage together in one easy-to-use place and one easy for you to remember url:

Big Changes for Easy Navigation

Here’s some of what we did: we made both blogs – the personal empowerment tips and fabulous-marriage tips – easily perusable and accessible on the home page. Like my Dear Abby critique for telling a woman to suck it up even though she’s not getting what she wants in her relationship (and aren’t you tired of being told that?) and how remembering Nancy Drew got me thinking about midlife reinventions.

Also, if you want to look at life reinvention or five-year marriage ideas, we created “hubs” for your convenience. From the homepage, you can toggle between FiveYearMarriage with videos from the Not Your Mother’s Marriage show and VictoriousWoman witih audios from my Friday Happy Hour with Annmarie Kelly shows.

Curious? Take a look:

I hope you like it and I’d love to hear what you think. Here’s some early feedback from others on the new benefits:
– Clean. Easy to navigate. – Anne
– It’s so much clearer! – Wendy
– It’s concise, and easy to maneuver to many great topics, interviews and your books! – Maryann

Do you agree or disagree? Can I add your feedback to that list?​ you’re just one click away from a treasure-trove of good news you can use! I can’t wait to hear what you think about

With love  and in victory,

About Annmarie Kelly, Midlife Empowerment Guru

119220321_823127521762972_6491381989416264119_oI’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationship. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark. Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal VictoriesVictory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW.

Now’s the time to uncover the happiness and passions you put on hold.
Find out how you can Work With Me.

You can make 2021 your best year yet!

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A 3 Step System to Achieve Your Goals

Watch this video, I tell you the 3 steps needed to accomplish ANY GOAL!

This system ALWAYS works, but you’ve got to work the system.

The steps sound easy, but knowing exactly what each of the steps are for you can be a little tricky – so tune in and find out what this ‘guaranteed to work‘ system is and how you can apply it to your goals!

It’s time to stop feeling like you’re getting old and your best days are behind you.

It’s time to get your goals – and your life – on track so you can BE MORE of who you really are, DO MORE that makes you happy and fulfilled, and HAVE MORE of the life you’ll love living EVERY DAY. If you liked this video, you can dive into these concepts even more in the Savvy Sizzle “NO REGRETS” workshop.

It’s a Brand New Baby Year! 3 Tips to Reach Your Goals

advice for achieving goals

It’s a brand new baby year, Victory Chicks! And Yayyy! The last one grew whiskers pretty fast and we were ready to see it go months before it was over.

This fresh new year gives you a blank slate. You can write whatever you want on it. What do you want out of this year – besides “back to normal?”

Of course, it’s a given to write your goal down. Note  that I said “goal” and not “goals”. Just pick one that is important and/or meaningful to you. If you have one big goal, break it into small doable goals and focus on just the first one. If you have a list of different goals, it’s OK – but just pick one right now as your starter goal. When you achieve that goal, you can set another one, Success and victory feed off each other!

Start Here for New Year Goal Success!

You already know to write your goal down. If it’s not written, you’re not accountable to it. Also, choose a realistic date to accomplish it.

That feels good, right? It’s easy to get started, but realistically-speaking, you can expect your enthusiasm to wane. Statistically it take about 6 weeks for the new year – new you honeymoon to be over.

Three Tips to Keep Your Success Going

For your success, here are 3 tips to keep your motivation going: 

  • Know your why. If you pick a goal and don’t have a compelling reason, you’ll easily get off-track. Why do you want your goal?
  • Make daily mini-goals. Big goals can overwhelm, but making 3 phone calls to clients or  doing 20″ of exercise…those are doable.
  • Make a reward jar. Think of 20+ small rewards for yourself. It should be something that doesn’t need a lot of time or money. Write each one on a separate piece of paper. Each time you finish the days mini-goals, take a piece of paper and reward yourself.

You can make more of this year by adding those three small tips.

Want More Purpose & Direction for the New Year?

Join me for the first Savvy Sizzle workshop of 2021. I’m starting with a free class on January 19. You can register here: Savvy Sizzle