We are all capable of taking risks, making important decisions and chasing our dreams. Join author Elaine Morales as she encourages us to get out there and start “Living Boldly”
Written by Elaine Morales
“If we all did what we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” — Thomas Edison
At the New Year, I declared this the year of living boldly!
Imagine what our lives will look like a year from now if we have spent every day of 2013 getting OUT there. Taking risks, making decisions, going after our dreams? I don’t know about you, but I hope to be totally unrecognizable on December 31st! And I don’t just mean as a result of the extra squats I am doing in the gym, but because I have challenged myself to grow each day.
Here are some ways I have thought of to go forth BOLDLY into the year.
Question your beliefs
Since we act on what we believe, questioning our beliefs is the catalyst for radical action. What are your beliefs surrounding food, your relationships, your job, what it means to be a parent? What do you believe about your flaws or abilities?
How would your life be different if you realized that some of your long-held beliefs simply are not true? When I was a girl, my dad used to say, “I’ve got two daughters. One of them is smart and the other one knows what she’s doing.” So, while I went on to get my degree from an Ivy League university, I would feel incompetent and flusterpated when it came to many activities of daily living. Of course I don’t know how to change a tire, get a loan, start a business, or drive a stick shift. What would happen if I believed that I am smart and that I know EXACTLY what I am doing? Hmmmm.
Tackle some of your “I could nevers…”
I think we should challenge some of our “I could nevers” each month. “I could never get up at 4:45 a.m. to exercise.” Um, put your running shoes by the bed, set your alarm, get up and walk out the door. My gym is open at 5 a.m.
“I could never celebrate a birthday without cake.” Invite your guests over and serve a fruit salad with a dollop of whipped cream. They may complain, but it will still be your birthday. If you do a cake-less birthday this one time, you’ll never be able to say “I just can’t imagine….” ‘Cause there’ll be photos.
“I could never jump out of an airplane.” Dare ya!
“I could never stand up in front of 100 people and give a presentation.” Find a group, pick your topic, set a date.
I’m feeling bolder already!
I’ve heard it said that if your goals don’t scare you at least a little bit, then they aren’t big enough. Pick a goal that makes your palms start to sweat when you think about it. Take that feeling of nervousness and channel it into enthusiasm.
Last year, I declared publicly that I was going to complete a 100 mile bike ride for charity. In 1978 I rode my lime green Schwinn into the side of our garage, fell over and didn’t get back on a bike for another 16 years. I may be fit, but I am not friends with my bicycle. I am afraid of falling and I am afraid of not finishing. Only one thing to do — get out there and ride!
In racing through the fear, I raced past the finish line last June. I was dead last, but it didn’t matter. I was elated at having pushed through my strong resistance. It left me asking, “What next?”
Do 100 days of something
If you have kids, then you are probably aware of the 100 day countdown. I’ve seen quite a few big numbers in my lifetime (hello, mortgage!), but 100 seems to trump them all when it comes to gluing buttons onto poster board.
Do you want to create a new habit? Pledge to eat that bowl of spinach or pay your significant other a compliment every single day for 100 consecutive days. Put that poster board up on the wall. Glue your buttons. Watch how consistent, daily action begets astonishing results.
My 5 year-old nephew is adorable. One of his charming habits is to use his younger sister as his taste-tester. In line for the pony rides — “you go, Kate.” At the dentist’s office — “you go, Kate.” If she survives, then he’ll feel safe enough to take his turn.
How about this year, we don’t stand around to see what everyone else is going to do? Raise your hand, volunteer, be the one to get the ball rolling. Step up.
All right. I am committed to the bold life this year. You can hold me to it.
And I’d love to hear from you…how are you going to get outside your comfort zone this year? Let me know in the comments below.
Remember…”it’s not just a daydream if you decide to make it your life.” She’s on Fire by Train
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
It has taken me time to accept that I am a pen and paper gal. I used to think that my notebooks, calendars, to-do lists and post-its made me a technological Neanderthaless, destined to fall behind those Mac-addicted, spreadsheet-wielding, have you tried the latest app for that early adapters? My way isn’t inferior, it is just DIFFERENT. It’s how my brain works!
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
Family, family, family. What matters is your people. These are the folks who have got your back, who lift you up, who offer generous, unconditional love. Without that, I would be starving.
What is one of my most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
There are lots! The one that pops to mind first is being the first in my family to graduate from a four-year college, and Princeton no less. My goal is to have a radical, healing impact on both my clients and our culture through my work as a holistic health and lifestyle transformation coach. We need to change the conversation in this country about health and wellness! It’s not about the fat loss!
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your identity?
I am an excellent mom, yet I curse a lot when talking to my children.
How would you contemplate the phrase “I Love MY…?”
I LOVE my life! It is full of magic and miracles. That’s my wish for everyone.