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

Is Someone Stepping on Your Toes?

boundaries for midlife happiness

Stepping on your toes, invading your space, crossing a line, ignoring your wishes – whatever you call it, when somebody does it to you, it feels bad. It means they went beyond your personal limits, also known as boundaries. Your boundaries are a reflection of your personal Identity. They define who you are and area measure of your self-worth.

Boundaries are Important for Women’s Empowerment

Boundaries are important for you to have. When someone doesn’t respect them, it says that person doesn’t respect you. You feel like you don’t matter.

Also, and more often than you – or anyone – would like to admit, when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, you feel powerless, even unsafe. Safety is a too-often unexpressed or hidden fear, especially in women.

In the workplace, it could be anything from office gossip or dumping extra work on you to asking you to do something inappropriate. In relationships it can include interrupting, over talking, muzzling, criticizing, yelling, and physical violence….and those are just the big ones.

When it happens to you, what do you do? I used to suck it up. Then, in therapy, the therapist told me I had terrible boundaries. He was correct, and I knew it. I needed to make a change. I did.

If you know what I mean, and want to make a change too, read on…

How Midlife Women Can Create a New Boundary

The thing about boundaries is that very often you don’t know what your boundaries are. You can turn that around. Here are four steps you can take:

  1. Decide on the boundary or boundaries you want. Pick a period of time (a week or a month). Notice what happens and pay attention to how you feel. Do you have a co-worker who consistently interrupts you during meetings, You’re annoyed, yes, but why?
    Does one of your friends talk down to you, and when s/he does, you feel “less than” or stupid? Is it the words, the tone of voice, or something else?
    When you and your spouse argue, does s/he go from 0-10 on the anger scale fast and starts yelling? What happens inside you?
  2. Once you identify the offending behavior, figure out what you want instead. This is is important because  you can’t just complain. It’s unproductive. For example, you want the co-worker to hear you out before speaking, or your friend needs to change the tone, or nobody – not even your spouse – can yell at you.
  3. Decide how you will tell the offending person. When you have a boundary, you have to know what to do when someone crosses it. That can be a challenge – especially if you were raised in “good girl” mode. So you have to know what to say.
    Start by giving the other person the benefit of the doubt; many people don’t even recognize what they’re doing. So sometimes a simple “I don’t know if you realize it but you [behavior] and when that happens, it makes me feel [your reaction]. I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t’ do that anymore.” Chances are that person will be surprised, and apologize. And then you can let them know that you’ll have to stop them if it happens again.
    If the offending behavior doesn’t change, create a signal –  word (like STOP!) or a gesture (Like a “talk to the hand” sign)
  4. Practice. Like anything you do in life, you aren’t going to get good at boundaries right off the bat. You’re likely to experience stressful signs, like a red face or fast heartbeat. That’s normal. It’ll get better with practice.

Live a Life You LOVE!

You deserve to live the life you love with a good sense of self-worth and the feeling of emotional and physical safety. Boundaries will go a very long way in giving those to you!
Start now! If you need help creating a life you love, check out my Savvy Sizzle “No Regrets” Workshop!

#victoriousWoman #Women’s Empowerment #MidlifeREinveniotn #confidnece #Self-Worth

March's Deep Pause

Corona-19 has flipped the world upside-down. It’ll be a apart of your history – women’s history – forever. Most people are scared…sheltering in place, keeping their distance from one another, living on FB and Instagram.

You have a choice this month – to see what is happening both globally and in your world – as devastation or opportunity, If you choose the latter – and I hope you do – you can emerge from this difficult time on the plus side.

Now is the Time for Midlife Women to FOCUS ON THEMSELVES

You know how you’re always so busy? If it isn’t some work thing, it’s a social something. You keep wanting to focus on you and your goals, but then you get distracted by something else or somebody else. But now that you’re in a mandatory deep pause…here’s you opportunity!

I remember Annie, a woman I talk about in Victorious Woman. The fun-loving sixty-something woman was diagnosed with cancer. The thing that would have jazzed her into fighting for her life was opening a bridal shop. When she told her spouse, kids, and friends, everyone laughed. SO, instead of designing a life she wanted, she went into the default position; she died.

On the other hand, Victorious Woman Pattie Painter, also in her sixties and diagnosed with multiple cancers, chose to live by design. When she got well, she designed a new life as a wedding celebrant. She’s been performing weddings both locally and at different destinations for years…and having a wonderful time.

In an Ideal World, How Would You Design Your Perfect Life?

Have you been trying to design your own meditation practice? Start today with just five minutes. In two weeks you can build up to ten minutes…and in a month you’ll have designed a new healthy habit.

What do you want to do next month, next week, next year? What did you miss in the past that you want to do now? Is it a new skill or learning? What about that business you’ve always talked about? Or is there a fabulous trip (for next year…not now!)?  Have you always wanted to visit the original seven wonders of the world or the NEW wonders, or the top ten National Parks in the US? Maybe you’ve dreamed of tossing a coin in Italy’s Trevi fountain, having dinner at the Eiffel Tower, seeing Stonehenge, or meditating with a yogi at a Himalayan spa.

This “deep pause” is giving you time to focus on what’s in your heart of hearts. Make the most of it!

Looking for social connection with other midlife women during the quarantine?

  1. Join the Victory Chicks Community – a private Facebook group
  2. Follow our social media accounts for inspiration and interesting information
    Instagram, Facebook, Youtube
  3. Join the Victorious Woman Mailing List:

Sending

February: Women and Heart Health

Knowledge is power for midlife women!

midlife women heart health month

Health knowledge puts you in control of what happens with your body.

Did you know that h
eart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States. Among American Indian and Alaska Native women, heart disease and cancer cause roughly the same number of deaths each year. For Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer as a cause of death.

Resources to Empower Midlife Women

Here is a list of resources that can help you identify, understand and prevent heart disease: 

  1. Myths about heart disease and women: https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women/facts/common-myths-about-heart-disease 
  2. Do you know what happened to Susan Lucci?: https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/womens-health/a26144012/susan-lucci-heart-health-scare/ 
  3. Did you know JAW PAIN is a sign of a heart attack…and there’s others that you might be surprised about: https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/womens-health/g2923/heart-attack-warning-signs/
  4. Want to bring down your blood pressure naturally? Here’s how: https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/wellness/a55690/what-to-do-if-you-have-high-blood-pressure/
  5. Think you’re too young for heart disease? https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/a23065148/fox-sports-jen-hale-cardiomyopathy/
  6. TIPS: 10 ways to keep the female heart healthy! https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=97aaf1dc-cc96-44e5-95ad-6f20509bdd8d
  7. Did you floss your teeth for your heart today? The bacteria that causes gum disease can get into your bloodstream and elevate that protein that’s a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. https://www.healthline.com/health/gum-disease-and-heart-disease

#Victorious Woman Project, #Victorious Woman, #WomensEmpowerment,  #VictoryChicks, #AnnmarieKelly, #FiveYearMarriage #KeynoteSpeaker

Freedom, Empowerment, and YOU

midlife women success, freedom, happiness
Freedom, Empowerment, and YOU


When I was a kid, my family went to Wildwood, New Jersey for the 4th of July. It was always this week because my father worked for the government, in procurement. The end of the fiscal year meant all departments had to spend all the money in their budget before June 30. If it wasn’t spent, departments risked not getting the same dollars in the next budget – when they may really need it.  So that money had to be spent…even if what was being bought was overpriced or not immediately needed.

My father had to sign off on those things…and he hated doing it. Also, most departments waited until close to the June 30 deadline to submit their stuff. As a result, during those last weeks, he often didn’t get home for dinner. And, when he did get home, his ulcer was acting up. Even as a kid I realized it was a stressful time for him.
Not for me!
My father’s stressful week signaled to me that it was almost time to go down the shore (to the beach, for those of you not from the Philly area).  We always left on the first Saturday after June 30. So, as soon as school got out in mid-June, my mind was on sand, surf, Morey’s Pier, Mack’s Pizza, and a “boardwalk sundae” – an interesting concoction that had everything sundae on a cone. And, oh yes, fireworks (still one of my favorite things).
As a kid, I didn’t think much about freedom. Of course I appreciated the historical significance. And my father was a Vet, and [what we now call] a Wounded Warrior. So I had some modern-day knowing about freedom. But it was more about “others” than me.

Then, at some point in my 20’s, after a broken engagement and its aftermath, something changed inside of me. Then I started fighting hard for my own independence. I wanted to stand on my own, to break free from some of the negative stuff of my history, to find my voice and be strong.

That’s when I started truly valuing my independence and the freedom it gave me – to be who I am and do what I want – including making my own mistakes and taking credit for my victories. In Victorious Woman-speak, I wanted to be an empowered woman…the first Victory Chick. 🙂

Of course, as you probably know, there’s a price for that. Not everyone gets happy when you assert your independence. However, the more you do it, the more comfortable you are with it and you don’t want to give it up.

It was much later that I realized that freedom is one of my top five values. The conscious awareness of my values was life-changing. In fact, I’ve noticed in my workshops, when someone consciously connects to her values, her life shifts in good directions. That’s probably why I post something about values so often on my Victorious Woman blog.

It’s also why, when Joseph wanted to get married, I suggested instead that we live together. And, when he still wanted to get married, my freedom value became the seed of The Five-Year Marriage®.

Do you ever think about your values? Do you notice them shifting over time? For example, health was always a value for me, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s inched  up on the list. Did you ever wonder what would you give up or stop doing…or start doing…if you fully honored your personal values?

Tomorrow, and through this weekend, I’m asking you to take a few minutes to think about freedom and independence – as a value – for you, as a woman. If you meditate, take it into your meditation. If you’re driving someplace, think about the cultures where women are not allowed to drive. If you’re chatting with some women, ask what they think is their personal experience freedom and empowerment.
Or maybe you just want to take some time to revisit your own values – something that can be particularly valuable if you are in some kind of transition.

Here are two articles that you might find helpful: What’s of Value to You? and Values and Bullies
I wish you a safe and victorious, and joyful Fourth of July – even if you are in another country.
With love and in victory,
Annmarie

#Values, #WomensEmpowerment,  #VictoryChicks, #AnnmarieKelly, #Victorious Woman Project, #Victorious Woman, #FiveYearMarriage,

Is Hollywood Keeping Women Down?

Why is Hollywood painting strong midlife women as victims?

Jackson said he loved Ally. But he humiliated and demeaned her. It’s a “that’s what you get for trying to be a success” message to women.

Does Hollywood’s latest remake of A Star is Born make you nervous – for yourself or for your daughters? It makes me nervous!

The Typical Damsel in Distress Premise

You know the story – a very talented woman is busting it, but can’t seem to get a break. Then some man, a drug-addicted alcoholic star, gives her one…and she’s all starry-eyed because of it, and with him.

With that boost, she becomes a star. And, she decides with love and loyalty, that she’s save him from himself. But…she can’t.

Success Breeds Jealousy

Then, because he’s jealous or something, the guy embarrasses her in front of the whole world, stealing her thunder and ruining the biggest night of her life.

Afterward, he apologetically goes to rehab and gets clean. But, in the end, kills himself – leaving her guilt-ridden and forlorn. Wooo-hooo!!

The Successful Woman Portrayed as the Victim

Here’s the thing: At the end of that movie, you cry – not because Lady Gaga is on top of the world and you’re happy and hopeful. No, you cry because you feel sorry for her…the poor little victim. And you feel sad and powerless. It’s like getting the message “see, that’s what you get for being successful.”

What’s the Lesson for Successful Women here?

If women want strong role models, why does this movie keep getting made over and over – and starring strong and successful women (currently Lady Gaga)? It paints the woman as a victim at almost every turn. Yes, she’s a strong woman, but she pays a huge price for the success her talent gives her. Guy movies are seldom like that, right?

Hollywood and ‘Strong Women’

A generation ago, Thelma and Louise was touted as a “strong woman” movie – and it always seems to come up in those online lists. You’ll recall how two women go away for a weekend. One almost gets raped and the other one kills the guy. In the end, the women decide the best thing they can do is kill themselves. Apparently that’s the only way Hollywood can see a woman’s outcome.

From my Victorious Woman view, I made my own list. And today, for International Women’s Day, I’m sharing it with you…and maybe you can add it.

Annmarie’s “Strong Woman” Chick Flicks

  1. Hidden Figures (Katherine)
  2. Waiting to Exhale (Glo)
  3. Steel Magnolias (M’Lynn)
  4. Legally Blonde (Elle)
  5. The Color Purple (Celie)
  6. The Sound of Music (Maria)
  7. Silence of the Lambs (Clarice)
  8. Dirty Dancing (Baby)
  9. The Help (Aibileen)
  10. His Girl Friday (Hildy)
  11. The River Wild (Gail)
  12. Hunger Games (Katniss)
  13. Adam’s Rib (Amanda) and nearly every movie with Katherine Hepburn
  14. Erin Brockovich (Erin)

That’s my two cents…let me know what you think…

If you want MORE VICTORY in your life, and aren’t already part of the Victorious Woman community, join us! When you get my newsletter, you get the latest about upcoming free teleseminars and classes. as well as newest posts, trends, episodes of Victory Chicks Radio, and more. Go here: Yes! I want to be a Victory Chick!

#Victorious Woman Project, #Victorious Woman, #WomensEmpowerment,  #VictoryChicks, #AnnmarieKelly, #FiveYearMarriage

Women's History is YOUR History

Women’s History Month starts today and I wonder, does it matter anymore? I mean, do you ever think about the women who came before you – either historically-speaking or in your family? Who were they and how did they impact your life?

My early tastes of feminine power came from reading.  

As a kid, I devoured Nancy Drew! books; I was enthralled with her. It wasn’t just because I loved mystery novels – I could have read any one of a million of those. What I loved most was that the person solving the mystery was a girl who got respect, Nancy Drew mysteries were feminism wrapped up in a young adult novel.

Feminism wasn’t really embraced in my old-school Italian Catholic family, and well…Nancy had it along with everything I didn’t have…but wanted.

In those days, Nancy (now 89) had money, a cool lifestyle, and a boyfriend. Ned was an older college man who didn’t boss her around and treated her as an equal. And her two best friends, Bess who was, as I recall, a girly girl, and George, a tomboy, were everything you’d want in your besties.
Also, she was really smart and clever. I loved how she figured things out and how, when she got herself into some scary situation, she knew how to get herself out of danger.

I worked my way through every one of those Nancy Drew books. Then I read all the Cherry Ames novels. Cherry didn’t push the envelope as much as Nancy, so I think she wasn’t quite as exciting.

Later I moved into novels like Little Women. I thought that writer and “renegade” Jo March was the most fun. Next Mary Queen of Scots grabbed my attention.  By then I was in high school and my reading was focused on the required reading of “the classics” like Dickens, Fitzgerald, and Salinger.  Hard to find powerful women in those books!
However, high school was also when I started watching old black and white movies. My imagination was getting inspired by stars like Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Mae West – feisty women who held the reins in their lives and their movie careers. They started shaping my thinking in a way that was a 180 from my upbringing.  While much of that laid dormant in my brain until I was in my thirties, the ideas of those strong women were percolating throughout my teens and twenties.

By then President Ronald Reagan had nominated Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, it was exciting that a woman was serving in the highest court of the land.

Since then we’ve had Ruth Bader Ginsberg – notorious RBG – and Sonya Sotomayor. But O’Connor was the first…and the glass ceiling breaker.

The late eighties brought Oprah Winfrey into my life.

She was like everyone’s best friend or big sister. Also, Barbara Bush, whose deep caring for reading attracted me, as well as her no-nonsense attitude. When I got married the first time, in the first of my Five-Year Marriages®, she helped me see a different way to have a marriage.
More recently, with all the ancestry products, I’ve been thinking about my own heritage. Both of my grandmothers were born in Italy and immigrated to the US. My maternal grandmother was newly married when she came to the United States with my grandfather. For them, as newlyweds, it must have been an adventure. Scary, of course, but they were young and forging new territories.

On the contrary, my father’s family was different. His father left his mother and sister, who was just a toddler, to make a new life for his family.  Once here, it took him 10 years to get a job, a house, and enough money to bring his spouse and daughter to live with him in South Philly. My father was born a year later.

I wonder what it was like for her, then a young woman, to live as a single mom, waiting year after year for her spouse to send her money to live and then – finally – tickets.

Was she understanding, or angry and resentful? I also wonder if her family told her to forget about my grandfather and find someone else…or if the men in her village tried to get with her. And if she had an affair while waiting…or if my grandfather did.

Yes, I think Women’s History Month still matters –  even if it’s just to get women thinking about where they were and where they are, as the foundation for where we’re going.

What do you think?

#WomensHistoryMonth, #Victorious Woman Project, #Victorious Woman, #WomensEmpowerment,  #VictoryChicks, #AnnmarieKelly, #FiveYearMarriage

Hate Your Job?

midlife women starting life over, be happy
What if YOU Live to be 100?

I hate my job and I hate working. If it wasn’t for the money and the medical benefits, I’d quit now.
Are you one of the many women who feel that way? Not so fast. One of the secrets to a long and healthy life might just be work – work you LOVE.

Passions are your key to happiness

Marilee Shapiro Asher was still sculpting and making art at 103 while living in her Washington DC retirement community. She told readers of her autobiography, published when Marilee was 102, “I have no personal philosophy of art, I do it because there is nothing else I would rather be doing.

Mabel Sawhill, in her third career, catered events. She was around so long that she catered some couple’s weddings AND their 50th anniversaries! When she died in her sleep at age 103, she still had catering gigs, and people yearned for her sticky buns and chicken salad. Her longevity secret: to be engaged and find delight in everything life had to offer.

Honey Canney started teaching water aerobics in 1972. She she was in her early sixties then. She still teaches those classes three times a week -at 103! Though she is nearly blind as a result of macular degeneration, she finds the water gives her freedom. And, she says, “I can be of some use to somebody and not sit around and suck my thumb. I miss the things I can’t do, but I kinda dwell on the ones I can do.

For Rose Torphy, 103-year-old great grandmother loves helping to preserve one of America the Beautiful’s crowing glories, the Grand Canyon – which was formed 100 years ago, when Rose was just a little girl!. When she was recently inducted as a Grand Canyon junior ranger, Rose told Good Morning America.“I am so happy someone is watching over it so that my great-great-grandchildren can visit it someday too.”

What’s your passion?

If you knew for sure that you were going to live to be 100, what would you do differently? Would you get that law degree or satisfy your love of animals by becoming a veterinarian? Maybe you’d start your own business, become a teacher or a psychologist?

What fabulous itch is just dying to be scratched?

Whatever it is, take the first step today. Do some online research, connect with someone who is already doing it, make a vision board and start dreaming.

And you can join me for the next Savvy Sizzle Master Class. Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to get info for the next one.

# Victorious Woman Project, #Victorious Woman, #WomensEmpowerment,  #VictoryChicks, #AnnmarieKelly, #FiveYearMarriage

Have Times Changed?

Glenn Close acceptance speech at Golden Globes

Glenn Close was wiping away the tears. “I’m thinking of my mom,” she said, shaking with emotion, “Who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life and, in her eighties, she said to me, ‘I feel I haven’t accomplish anything.’” Then, as she ended her acceptance speech for her Golden Globe best actress win, the power in her voice filled the stage as she told her worldwide audience, “We’re nurturers, that’s what’s expected of us…but we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say ‘I can do that,” and ‘I should be allowed to do that.”

Yes and Yayyyy!

Women are nurturers, and that is what is expected of them. But why haven’t we evolved more in our 21st century than in the 3rd, 14th or 20th centuries? Can only women nurture? And can only men fulfill their goals and follow their dreams? Of course not!

Yet we keep putting new wine into old wine-skins. That is, women keep putting their “new wine” independent selves and empowered ideas into the “old wine-skin” of traditional marriage. As a result, they still find themselves doing what Glenn Close’s mother did – sublimating. They put off their goals until the kids are in school and it’s “their time.” Unfortunately,  “their time” sometimes comes at the same time as a divorce. Or they redirect their energies into home-based businesses that are more like hobbies. Their once-sharp skillset is rusty and they settle – for an OK or satisfying life instead of a fulfilling one.

And just like how the new wine in the old wine-skin degrades and sours, a woman is diminished and her spirit withers.  In the end, women’s lives are eerily similar in personal fulfillment and satisfaction to the lives of women like Glenn Close’ mother.

Women don’t have to keep sublimating or withering. Women, and the men who love them, can choose something different. They can choose a lifestyle that gives both of them equal voices and choices. Also, they can choose a lifestyle where they revisit their agreements and periodically adjust.  Just like any contract. It’s the same with your cable company or cellphone carrier.

Of course, a woman has to own her power and make it important. And a man has to recognize it. Your partner typically doesn’t know why you are unhappy or dissatisfied…but chances are, s/her knows something isn’t working well. Still, s/he isn’t a mind-reader. You two have to meet, communicate, and renegotiate.

You do it with your cable carrier, don’t you? Your carried isn’t going to offer you a better bundle of services just because you don’t like what you have now. You have to call them, complain, and ask for something better. When you do, they usually accommodate you. And, frankly, your cable carrier doesn’t have as much to lose as the typical married couple. So, doesn’t it make sense for the two of you to have regular conversations?

The Five-Year Marriage®

The Five-Year Marriage® opens up a space for conversation and honest communication. Here are a few things you’ll find with The Five-Year Marriage® :

  • Both partners have an equal voice
  • Women can keep from losing themselves in the minutia of marriage and children because she doesn’t give up her SELF
  • The five-year format gives women and men a way to shine a light on problems early so that they can be looked at, discussed, and problem solved before she or he starts feeling anger and resentment
  • Because a couple is still living in love, they are open and willing to find ways to solve the problems.

The Five-Year Marriage® is a different but better way for couples to live a marriage. It breaks the “til death do us part” stranglehold.

WHAT’S YOUR TAKE? How do you think a Five-Year Marriage® would affect your relationship – or the relationship of someone you know?

Want to learn more? You can get started by reading The Five-Year Marriage® : Shifting the Marriage Paradigm, available on Amazon. And be sure to sign up for Annmarie Kelly’s Five-Year Marriage newsletter to get the latest information on articles, meetups, and workshops.

#Glenn Close, #FiveYearMarriage, #MarriageTips. #LoveAndMarriage, #PartnershipMarriage, #ModernMarriage #WomensEmpowerment, #MarriageContract, #RelationshipAdvice, #AnnmarieKelly, #ContractMarriage,

Are Your Goals a Casualty of Comfort?

Comfort Zone a Problem?

Janice was in tears and her voice was shaking.  She was back at the popular weight loss meeting, for the third January in a row. Embarrassed, she told the group how, two years ago, she lost twenty pounds in the first part of the year but gained most of it back in the second half.
She said she joined again last year, but, with frustration dripping on every word, she confessed, “When the new program started last year, and they said I could eat anything I wanted, I was more hopeful.” But it wasn’t that easy and she admitted, “I had a hard time getting used to the new way and I wasn’t losing as fast as before. So I dropped out after a couple months. Now I’m six pounds more than this time last year.”
The group understood, especially the nine women and men who, like Janice, were back. Each one hoping that (maybe this time) they would finally accomplish their New Year’s goal to lose weight. Will they do it this time? The odds aren’t in their favor.
Losing weight and getting fit annually tops the list of “most common” New Year’s Resolutions, along with paying off debt and saving money. Yet only about 8% of the people who SAY it actually DO it. That means that for every 100 people who make those promises, 92 of them fail.  Will you be one of them?
What is it about losing weight – or any other resolution – that makes success so elusive?

There’s a little-understood but simple secret to success that almost everyone ignores. The secret is in learning how to conquer your comfort zone.

Here’s the thing: Your comfort zone is that “inside” place you’re familiar with, where you know what you’re dealing with and know how to handle it. When you leave your comfort zone, even for something better, it’s  uncomfortable. You can’t ‘have the luxury of auto-pilot in the new place. As s result, you have to think about what you’re doing. It’s an effort…work.
When you make new choices, not only does it take time to think about them, but maybe those choices don’t push that emotional satisfaction button in your head right away. So you feel a variety of emotions: scared, unsatisfied, agitated, etc. Here are some examples:

  • Dieting: Instead of just grabbing something you like from the fridge, or off a fast food menu, you have to stop and think about what what you can have and make different choices.
  • Money: You can’t just pull out your credit card to pay for that dress or dinner or show tickets. You have to think about your budget and maybe say “no” to that thing you want or want to do.
  • Growing your business: If doing the same old same old is getting you business but not growth. You have to step out of your comfort zone to step up.

Here’s the kicker: Until you develop a comfort level with your new behaviors, a part of you yearns to go back to that familiar space. For a while the effort seems like more pain than gain. And that’s why you quit.

Dealing with your comfort zone is probably your biggest obstacle you’ll face when you have a new goal. It’s also the one that most people ignore – which is why only 8 out of every 100 people stick to their resolutions.

The good news is that it’s one of the things that’s totally in your control.

The Victory Stretch

Facing obstacles is how you get the opportunity to victory. Victory is the stretch you make out of your comfort zone into that greater, more fabulous expression of who you really are.  That’s what you want – to be all of your best self. Right? So do it. Start by conquering your comfort zone using these three tips:
1. Recognize the Resistance. You’re going to experience some negative feelings as you move out of your comfort zone. In the past, how did you act just before you quit? Were there things you said, like, “This isn’t working.” or “Why bother?” and “I can’t do this.”

Do you have a pattern? You probably do. What is it?

Your pattern of resistance could show up as sadness, stress, tiredness, anger, disgust, passive-aggressiveness, or something else. It can be a combination of things. Write them down so you heighten your awareness.

2 .  Prepare for the Challenge. When you start working on your new goal, and your resistance pattern starts showing up, what will you do? Knowing in advance what your triggers are and how you will handle your discomfort will create a new comfort zone for you. That will boost your chances of pushing forward and being victorious. Here are a few ways to spit in the face of resistance:

  • Set up a “yes set”. Seeing results is motivating, BUT it takes a while to see them. In between, you need to give yourself some motivations, like:
    • YES! I exercised three times this week. That’s better than last week
    • YES! I set up auto-deposit from my paycheck to savings and I didn’t even notice the difference
    • YES! I networked with six new people this month – double what I did all last quarter.
  • Remember your “why”. Make a list of all the positive outcomes that will result from achieving your goal. Read them each morning, and whenever your resistance shows up.
  • Acknowledge yours feelings. Talk to them like the friends they are. “I know you’re here to help me stay in my comfort zone. I appreciate that you want to make me feel safe and secure. But I really want to [whatever the new thing is]. I’d rather that you help me get comfortable with that and, if you can’t, go away.” Sounds a little airy-fairy, but give it a try.

3. Get Support. Find a class, mastermind group, coach, or accountability partner. It will help you in your quest. Having one makes a huge difference. When you make a commitment to someone else, and know that are rooting for you, they create a type of comfort zone. As a result, you are more likely to deal with your resistance effectively.
OFFER: If you are looking for help and support in achieving a new goal, you’ll want to be a part of the EMPOWERING and BEST #midlifemakeover. Join me for the Savvy Sizzle Workshop, starting in the new year, just in time for your comfort zone melt down.
Learn more at Annmarie Kelly’s Savvy Sizzle Master Class
# Victorious Woman Project, #Victorious Woman, #WomensEmpowerment,  #VictoryChicks, #AnnmarieKelly, #FiveYearMarriage, #MidlifeMakeover