Year End Reflections: Don’t Let Fear Stop You from Asking Questions


It’s very hard to achieve goals if you have the emergency brake on, and the emergency brake is fear. ~Tim Ferriss


Sometimes, when we’re doing the work of self-evaluation–asking ourselves deep questions like we’ve been doing since Friday’s post–our fears and worries can be awakened. It’s important to keep them in perspective so that we aren’t derailed and stopped in our forward progress.

When we’re fearful we pull back, slow down, and oftentimes we come to a halt. While fear can be helpful in alerting us to dangerous situations, we can’t respond to all fears in the same way.

Some fears are reasonable and it’s right to slow down, take a close look at them, and come up with a plan of how to handle them. For instance, fears of poverty can lead us to set up a savings program, pay off all our debt, and devise a plan that allows us to live within our means.

Other fears, which are most of them, are ones that we can do nothing about and they distract us from important work that will get us toward our goals. An example of an unhelpful fear is from my own life.

When my daughter was a young child, it seemed to me that the world was teetering on the brink of total obliteration. I remember being so worried and upset and questioning why I brought a beautiful and innocent child into such a horrible world.

One day my fears were particularly strong and terrifying. As my daughter napped, I quickly walked to the end of the driveway to get the mail, my mind swirling and terrorizing me with fears. I remember standing at my mailbox and feeling the sun shining on my shoulders, warming me. That was enough to make me realize that the day was one of those beautiful early spring days. The sun was shining, the sky was a clear and brilliant blue. The trees were beginning to bud, birds were singing, and crocuses and other early spring flowers were blooming. It occurred to me that right then at that moment, I and my daughter and my family were okay. We were not facing any immanent threats; my husband and I worked in jobs that paid us enough to have food on the table and to have a roof over our heads each day. Overall, we were okay!

While this technique didn’t banish all my fears, over the years it’s helped me put my worries and fears in perspective and loosen their grip on me so that I could continue moving forward.

Feel free to use this technique of realizing that in this moment, you are just fine. This will help you keep your fears at bay so that you can take the next step, even a teensy tiny one.

You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections: A Poem about the Questions We Ask Ourselves,_New_Hampshire,_1905.JPG,_New_Hampshire,_1905.JPG


In yesterday’s post we talked about asking ourselves questions. I came across this poem about this very same topic and I thought you’d be interested in it.


Questions Before Dark
by Jeanne Lohmann

Day ends, and before sleep
when the sky dies down, consider
your altered state: has this day
changed you? Are the corners
sharper or rounded off? Did you
live with death? Make decisions
that quieted? Find one clear word
that fit? At the sun’s midpoint
did you notice a pitch of absence,
bewilderment that invites
the possible? What did you learn
from things you dropped and picked up
and dropped again? Did you set a straw
parallel to the river, let the flow
carry you downstream?



I hope you enjoyed the poem and that it inspired you to think a little deeper about your life.


Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections: Ask Yourself Questions!


We’ve been talking about the third category goals and resolutions all week. These are the ones that we haven’t even looked at, much less started to work on, since last January. We’re getting to the bottom of why we’ve neglected them; this work will guide us toward goals and resolutions that are more congruent with what makes us happy–what will give our life meaning and bring us joy.

The weekend is coming up and it’s the perfect time to ask yourself questions about your goals and resolutions. Mull over the questions so you can get good answers–not just the surface ones. When answers come, dig a little deeper, go below the surface to discover what’s really going on–the engine that’s driving it.

Keep asking yourself:

~Why don’t you like to do a particular thing?

~Why DO you like to do a certain thing?

~Why doesn’t that goal you put on your list no longer interest you?

~Why are you dragging your feet on beginning to work on a goal that you say you really and truly want?

~What time of day are you the most energetic, clear-headed, and enthusiastic?

~What makes you unhappy? Why? Why are you allowing it to upset you?

~What makes you happy? Why aren’t you doing more of that?


I’m sure you’ll think of other questions to ask yourself–go for it!


Keep asking, keep digging! And keep track of your answers! Either dictate them into a voice recorder or voice-to-text app, or use good old-fashioned pen and paper. Capture your thoughts so you can refer to them later on this month as well as throughout next year. They’ll keep you on track doing things that make you happy, and that’s the basis of a rich, deeply meaningful, joy-filled life.

You can do this, I know you can!


Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections: Common Threads Throughout All Categories


We’re coming to the end of evaluating our goals and resolutions for 2016. This week we’ve been focusing on the third category and taking it in little baby steps.

Yesterday we looked for common threads in goals and resolutions in the third category. Today let’s take a look at these threads in relation to the goals and resolutions in the other categories–the first category with the goals we’ve accomplished and the second category with the goals we’re still working on. Do you notice common threads running through all three categories?

Look for positive common threads as well as the unhelpful ones. What I mean by this is, for example, a positive common thread might be that you gravitate toward activities and projects having to do with animals. Your good at them and you complete all the task, projects, and goals associated with animals–even the toughest jobs. Or, you may notice that you do your best thinking and best work early in the morning or in the evening after your family has gone to bed.

An example of an unhelpful thread might be that drag your feet on the goals and resolutions that are influenced by others. Or, you may notice that you’re great at coming up with ideas and the plans for them but you are really bad at following through to completion.

Spend time with this work because it’s shining light on the truth about yourself. Once you understand what makes you tick, then you can alter your goals and resolutions–and the tasks needed to achieve them–so that everything is more in line with what works best for you.

THERE’S NO JUDGEMENT WITH DOING THIS WORK!! There is no right or wrong; no good or bad. It’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for you so that you can live a meaningful, happy, and fulfilling life.

Keep going; you’re doing GREAT!

And remember to treat yourself TODAY for doing this work!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections: Common Threads in the Third Category


Yesterday we separated our Third Category goals and resolutions–the ones that are not only undone but untouched–into three groups. The first group has those goals and resolutions that might have seemed like a good idea when you wrote them but, on second thought, you realize you have absolutely no desire to achieve them. The second group contains those goals and resolutions that were inspired by someone else, whether it was a loved one or friend, or even society or the daily advertising messages we’re subjected to. The third group has those goals and resolutions that we really and truly want to achieve but yet we can’t seem to find the energy, time, or nerve to get going on them.

Today, let’s take another look at these groupings and determine if there are any common threads running through them. For instance, perhaps you absolutely love the outdoors and enjoy being physically active but most of the goals in the third group deal with working in an office.

Try to find as many threads as you can. For instance, using the example above, not only are your goals in this group centered around working in an office but also working alone–and you happen to be a people person who’s energized and invigorated by interchanging with others!

Okay, that’s it for today! Remember, we’re taking this in baby steps so we don’t become overwhelmed or discouraged. We want to make sure we keep going with this work. We need to find that bread crumb trail to our true selves!

Take time today to celebrate yourself for doing this work. It can be tough so we need to reward ourselves for taking even the teeniest tiniest steps.

WooHoo! You’re doing it! You ROCK!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections: Why Did We Ignore the Third Category Goals?


Yesterday we did a quick look at our third category goals and resolutions and gathered them all together on one list.

Today, let’s take a closer look at each goal and resolution and figure out why we ignored them.

Are they things that seemed like a good idea at the time but now that you think about it, you really have no interest in them at all? For instance, perhaps you joined a garden club because you love flowers and trees but yet the thought of digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, and the like, has absolutely no appeal to you at all.

Are they goals and resolutions that you wrote down because you were influenced by someone else’s choices, desires, and goals? For instance, perhaps you wanted to please a loved one or a teacher, coach, or mentor? Or maybe they’re goals and resolutions that you think you’re “supposed to” want. As an example, perhaps you’ve been living in an apartment and you’re doing well in your job so you think it’s high time you buy a house or a condo. You see that others of your age group and income level are doing it so you think you should, too. But yet you travel a lot for business and you want your weekends free for getting together with friends or for pursuing activities and interests you enjoy.

Or perhaps you find that these are goals and resolutions that you truly want but yet you just can’t seem to get going on them. I’ll use my example of the landscaping at my home. I need to redo it and I work on it a little bit each year, but it isn’t enough. I need to do more and I know I need to do more–make this more of a priority. But yet I keep dragging my feet over it!

Put each of your goals and resolutions into a group: the first is for those that seemed like a good idea but, really, you honestly have no interest in them; the second group is for those goals and resolutions that were influenced by someone else–family, friends, mentors, society, advertising, etc.; the third group is for those that you really want to achieve but yet you just can’t seem to get going on.

That’s it for today!

We’ll take a closer look at each group in the upcoming days.

Now, though, let’s celebrate! This can be tough work emotionally and we need to celebrate ourselves for looking at and thinking about these goals and resolutions. As I’ve said before, this work is essential in helping us find the breadcrumb trail to our heart’s desires.

WooHoo! You’re doing GREAT!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections: A Light and Easy Look at the Third Category


I know you probably don’t want to do this task today–or any other day for that matter–but stick with me and we’ll go through it one little baby step at a time.

Last week we were talking about our goals and resolutions for this year, 2016. We evaluated and then celebrated the ones in the first category – the ones we accomplished. Then we evaluated and then celebrated the items we’re still working on, the ones in the second category. Today we’ll take a look at the goals and resolutions in the third category–the ones we didn’t give a second thought to once we wrote them down last January.

We’re JUST LOOKING at them. We are NOT judging ourselves, we are NOT bashing ourselves, and we are NOT thinking disparaging things about ourselves. If you find yourself doing any of this, even the tiniest amount then


Go back and review your first and second category goals and resolutions. Remind yourself that you ARE capable, you ARE competent, you ARE intelligent, you CAN get it done and you HAVE gotten it done!!!!!

Okay, let’s go back to the third category goals and list them. Don’t worry about doing this perfectly or writing down every little tidbit. We’re taking this slow and easy and taking a light look at this.

Once you’ve finished this, then it’s time to CELEBRATE!

This was tough work to do mentally and emotionally. Sometimes that kind of work can be more exhausting than if you’d dug ditches in hard-packed clay for 8 hours! Celebrate yourself for having the self-respect to do this tough assignment. It doesn’t matter if it took you less than five minutes to make the list, you still need to celebrate yourself for doing this.

What’s an item in your third category? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

One of the items in my third category is redoing the landscaping around my home. It’s looking scraggly. I’ve been meaning to get to it for the past few years but just haven’t done it.

What are you going to do to treat yourself for completing today’s task of looking at the goals and resolutions in your third category? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

I’m going to watch a Christmas movie: It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.


Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections Getting Your Nerve Up


This week we’re going to be looking at our goals and resolutions in the third category. This is the one that has all the goals and resolutions that haven’t been touched or thought about since we wrote them last January.

To look at them, we’re gonna need all the strength and nerve that we can muster!

We’re going to take it in little baby steps so that we don’t become too overwhelmed and discouraged.

So that you can prepare, here’s what’s on tap for this week’s blog posts:

Monday: Taking a Light and Easy look at the third category’s goals and resolutions (including celebrating ourselves for looking at these items)

Tuesday: Thinking about Why We Ignored These (including celebrating ourselves for doing a light evaluation of these items): goals others’ said we should want or that they want us to do; goals that seemed like a good idea but that we no longer are interested in; goals that we want but we’re too chicken to go for

Wednesday: Noticing any Common Threads ((including celebrating ourselves for doing this work)

Thursday: Noticing Common Threads with the first and second categories (including celebrating ourselves for sticking with this work)

Friday: CELEBRATE!!,_Belmont_University,_Nashville,_USA.jpg,_Belmont_University,_Nashville,_USA.jpg

Perhaps one of the best ways to get your nerve up is to celebrate the fact that today is International Hug Day, so hugs all around! J

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Year End Reflections A Word about Celebrating


This week we’ve been celebrating and taking a light and easy look at our categories of goals and resolutions we had for 2016.  We celebrated the accomplishments of the first category; we looked for common threads in this category–and we celebrated; we celebrated our continuing progress on the goals and resolutions in the second category, and we took a look at these goals and resolutions to find any common threads in these as well as common threads with the first category goals.

And we celebrated!

Notice that I encouraged you to celebrate after each day’s post.  It’s so important to celebrate your small steps and little victories–the medium and the big ones as well, of course!  What you do to celebrate isn’t important.  For instance, it doesn’t matter if you treat yourself to a movie or take the afternoon off and go boating or meet your friends and loved ones for a celebratory dinner.

What matters is the feelings you have inside of you.  

When you celebrate, tune into these feelings.  Give them free rein inside of you.  Feel the joy, the self-confidence, the pleasure, the self-esteem.

These feelings are vitally important to your continued success.  They are powerhouses that are packed full of all sorts of energies that you can tap into.  They’ll give you the wherewithal and nerve to keep going; to go for more and to stick it out when things are readjusting themselves (what you may think of as things falling apart).

Examples of feelings you may have are:
~Pride about yourself because you didn’t back down or give up, especially when the going was less than fun!
~A boost in self-confidence because now you know you can figure out how to get through the tough stuff and you can stick it out for the long haul.
~The increase in self-trust because you didn’t back down, you didn’t give up.  Instead, you kept true to your word–your promise to yourself–that you would do this.  And you did!
~Enhanced self esteem because you now know that you do have what it takes, you are intelligent and resourceful, you can keep calm and keep going in spite of being unsure or afraid.
~The happiness and joy you feel because you know it’s really true that baby steps do add up and it’s okay to slow down and take teensy tiny steps when you come up against something you’ve never dealt with before.

This is all GREAT STUFF!!  We need to take a WHOLE DAY TODAY to CELEBRATE–to feel ALL the wonderful feelings inside of you!!  

We are doing AWESOME stuff!  We ROCK the house down!


Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Year End Reflections: A Closer Look at the Second Category


Yesterday we celebrated ourselves for all the projects, goals, and resolutions on which we’re making good progress.  It isn’t about finishing; it’s about taking steps and moving forward as best we can on a regular, consistent basis.  It also isn’t about huge leaps and bounds but rather it’s all about taking the little steps, teensy tiny baby steps if necessary, to keep forging ahead.

WooHoo!  We’re AWESOME!  Yes we are!!

Today, let’s take a closer look at these items in the second category.  As we did when we evaluated the first category, let’s see if we can find any common threads running through these.  Also, let’s see if we notice threads in common with the first category’s items.

Take the time to do this today.  Again, we’re looking for clues–the breadcrumb trail–that’ll help us discover our talents, gifts, and special abilities.  These will lead us to the life of our dreams.


One thing I’ve noticed about myself is that a common thread in my second category items that’s also a thread in common with the first category items, is having things organized.  I like streamlining things and having them neat and orderly so that it’s easy to see what the project is.  Cutting through the drama and getting rid of the clutter is essential to seeing what exactly the project entails.  Once I do this then I can configure systems or gather resources or whatever else I need to tackle the project.

How about you?  What’s a common thread you’ve noticed?  Feel free to share it in the comments section below.  Thanks!

Also, it’s the end of the week so CELEBRATE all the Year End Reflections work that you did this week.


Your Friend and Pep Pal,