Be a Hero

Most people will fail to achieve their goals this year no matter how excited they were when the year began. They’ll get distracted, discouraged, or overwhelmed at some point, and give up.

Everyone gets sidetracked on the path to their goal at some point. The journey is never as straightforward as we imagined it would be. When we realize we’re not as far along as we like, or it’s not as easy as we imagined, we can lose motivation.

Few people will be willing to start again when they’ve gone off track. It can seem easier to give up on your goal, and tell yourself it didn’t matter that much. But if you keep giving up on goals you can “suffer from creative constipation which breeds toxicity”, as author Charlie Gilkey says.

  • Have you been working on a big goal for a while and at this moment you’re doubting yourself?
  • Did the summer, or a new series on Netflix, or a million other things get in the way and you’re not sure how to get motivated again?
  • Or did you start the New Year full of excitement about your goal and now you can’t even remember what it was? 

You can be the one who’s in the 8% of people who succeed. Simply decide to start again. Remember your goal and why you wanted it. Now, rather than focusing on the goal, which is off in the future, decide on the action you will take each day to move you closer to it. Then commit to doing it for the rest of the year.

In movies, the hero faces a great challenge in the third act. It’s overcoming that challenge that makes the hero our hero.

You’re in the third act of this year. Finish strong! Starting strong is easy. Finishing strong makes you a hero

Be a hero this year,


Would you like to be exponentially more successful?

If that idea makes you smile, I’d like you to think about one area where success really matters to you.

Just One.

It can be your business, health, relationships, finances… whatever is most important to you right now.

Once you’ve got that, determine what success would be for you:

  • Running in a 5k this summer?
  • Investing a certain amount of money each month?
  • Seeing friends at least once a week?

Decide what you’d need to do differently to achieve that success:

  • Run each week to increase your distance?
  • Invest your money immediately before you spend it?
  • Clear your schedule to make time for friends weekly?

You need to take action to be successful.

Now, are you ready to hear the ONE THING that will increase your likelihood of success by 95% …

Here it is…


Maybe it’s because we’re social creatures by nature who can’t survive on our own, but we’re more likely to show up for others in ways we wouldn’t for ourselves.

You could probably piece together a great workout through a selection of Youtube videos – but you’re more likely to show up for a trainer waiting at the gym or a running mate waiting for you at the park.

You could easily find reasons you can’t afford to invest this month – unless you’ve got an investment partner or club willing to challenge your decisions and hold you accountable.

Just one drink seems innocent enough – until you remember you’ll have to be accountable to your sponsor, and that makes you change your mind.

Being accountable to someone else is really being accountable to yourself. While an outside person will make you more likely to do what you said you’d do, you’re not doing it for them.

You’re doing it to achieve what you really want. This is just a sneaky way of accomplishing it since you’re more likely to let yourself down.

Top athletes hire private trainers, mindset coaches, and nutritionists to win championships.

Executives & Entrepreneurs report experiencing a 500% – 700% ROI when they invest in a coach.

When you’re accountable to someone else, you’re the one who wins.

Share this with someone you care about and respect. If they’re willing to be an accountability partner with you, you’ll both increase your chances of success exponentially.

How to break through limited thinking.

There’s a question I ask myself and others, that might be helpful when you’re feeling stuck and want to see more possibilities.

When clients are feeling constricted by their situation, I ask them to forget about the limitations for a moment, and instead, I ask a question that begins, “If you could have it any way you want…”

Once I know what their heart really desires I ask, “Why?”  That answer tells me who they want to be, what they want to give, and how they want to experience life and themselves.

So even if they can’t get everything exactly how they want it, the possibilities open up for them to be more fully expressed and fulfilled by making choices that match those deeper desires.

The power of this question first struck me a few years ago when my assistant and I were working out her role and I started by asking her, “If you could have it any way you want, what would your job be?”

She paused. For a while. Then said, “I’ve never thought that way. I’ve always looked at what’s probable and tried to want that”.

Her answer was eye-opening to me. I thought it was brilliant that she could catch that lifelong pattern in that moment. By pausing and giving herself more time, she was able to discover what she really wanted from this job. By sharing it with me, I was able to provide more of what made her happy and brought out the best in her. She was involved in and contributed more than I would have thought wanted. We both benefitted.

Don’t think that she loves every moment of what she does. There are tasks that aren’t her favorite thing to do, but by starting with the question, “If you could have it any way you want…” she got clearer on what she wants from her work and I look for ways to make the work match that as best I can.  Let me say it again, we both benefit.

So when you’re facing a challenge or just making plans, try asking yourself, “If I could have it anyway I want…”

By the way, this works great with business partners, life partners, and families. Each person answers it for themselves. Then they share why they answered that way. 

Asking “Why?” is a critical part of this process.

You’ll develop a deeper understanding of each other’s hopes and dreams. Even if everyone can’t get it exactly the way they want it, you’ll know ways to bring out the best in each other.

If you’re about to set big goals and make big plans for 2023 My Free Masterclass can help you get clear on what you really want in about 40 minutes.

How to thrive during family holidays.

In case your family gatherings aren’t always a scene from a Hallmark Holiday Movie, I’ve got a few tips to survive, and maybe even thrive this holiday season.
It helps to remember that you can’t control the weather, the crowds, lost luggage, or delays. And you certainly can’t control “them”. Accept that most things will be out of your control and focus on what you can control.

Here are 6 ways to thrive this holiday season.

1. Have a Plan.
What are the things you do each day that set you up to feel good – time alone, a long walk, working out? So often, we drop all our good habits when we’re on holiday and then wonder why we aren’t our best selves. Plan times to do the things that make you feel good about yourself. 

If you remember that certain things or people trigger you, have a plan for what you’ll do if that happens – call a friend, go to the bathroom and do breathing exercises, get outside. Make your well-being a priority.

2. Make a daily commitment to yourself.
The simpler you make your commitments, the more likely you are to keep them. What is the one thing you can commit to doing every. single. day.  Some simple practice that doesn’t take too long, but helps you feel good. Commit to doing that every single day. Prioritize it. Congratulate yourself each night for doing it. 

3. Remember how you want to be, and set an intention every day to be that way.
Each morning take 60 seconds to state how you want to be today. Picture going through your day in this state. Set the intention to be that way. And remember – you won’t be that way consistently, like meditation – you don’t stay focused, you keep returning to focus. So you won’t stay in that ideal state every minute, you’ll keep returning to it.

4. Journal this each night:

  • How you fulfilled your intention, or what you’ll do differently tomorrow. Look for one time you fulfilled your intention today. Your mind will automatically look for all the ways you failed. That is not helpful. Search for the time or times you did fulfill it. Write about it. Notice how that feels to relive it.  And only after doing that, make note of any lessons from today that will help you be even more successful tomorrow.
  • Three good things that happened today. Write each one down and after writing, take a moment to remember it, feel it again. Then write the next one. It can be the smallest things – a tasty cup of coffee, a laugh, or even a good poop 🙂  Your mind will naturally replay anything that went wrong, and that can put you into a funk that makes it harder to remember all the things that went right.  Don’t make a long list. Keep it to just three. But as you write each one, be sure to feel it again. 

5. Consider everything others are doing to be either “Love or a Cry for Love”.
A friend of mine taught me this practice years ago, and it’s so helpful in challenging situations. Any time someone is not at their best, consider their behavior to be a cry for love. It doesn’t mean you have to rush in and provide the love. Just seeing their actions that way, can make the whole experience easier for you.

And if you find yourself “behaving badly”, give yourself that same compassion – your words or actions were a cry for love, and maybe they just come out wrong.

6. Find ways to feel safe. 
This is most important and often overlooked. When I say there’s little you can control, I’m including your own behavior. Your neural circuits are always sensing whether your environment or the people in it are safe or dangerous. This is called Neuroception and the problem is – you’re not aware this is happening. It could be a distant sound, a color, someone’s tone of voice, facial expression, or just their presence – all this and more can be picked by your nervous system as dangerous. When that happens, your system readies you to act. You’re no longer in a creative, compassionate, or engaging state. Little things can suddenly set you off and you erupt or shut down. 

When your environment feels safe, your nervous system relaxes and you can engage and enjoy. Find the places, sounds and people that make you feel safe. And access them often. (See #1 – Have a plan)

Helping you live a life you love,

Please share this with people you know and love, so we can all bring out the best in ourselves and each other.

More joy and less stress for the holidays

We’re officially in “The Holiday Season”.

Whether you celebrate something, everything, or nothing at all, the holiday season is almost impossible to ignore.

Most people find themselves getting busy with big parties, travel, and small get-togethers. Even if it’s all good and fun and you love doing it, being busy can be a source of stress.

Others feel left out and lonely at this time, and that can be a real downer.

So rather than thinking of everything you want or have to do this season and trying to minimize the stress, or imagining all that you might miss out on and managing your disappointment, I have an idea for you.

Do this simple practice right now and set yourself up for less stress and more joy this holiday.

1. Make yourself comfortable.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Remember a time you felt really great. It doesn’t matter when it was, or what you were doing. 
4. Sense how that feels in your body.
5. Say a few words to describe how that feels.
6. Notice how you feel about yourself.
7. Imagine every cell in your body filling up with the vibration of these thoughts and feelings. 
8. Open your eyes.
9. Write down how you felt physically and how you felt about yourself.
10. From now until the end of the year, start each day remembering how it felt to be this version of you. Let yourself feel it again.

Say Yes more often to the things that help you feel this way. 
Say No more often to the things that make it harder to feel this way.

Fill yourself with the best of you this season, and let that guide your way.

Changing the way you do things is hard. I recommend you share this with a friend who wants more joy this season and support each other to make choices that fulfill you.

Here’s a radical way to increase your dopamine.

Do you know what Friday, November 25th is?  It’s the 30th Anniversary of:


Oh ya, it also happens to be black Friday, more on that in just a second. 

Buy Nothing Day wasn’t created as an anti-Black Friday or Anti-Christmas event. In fact, when artist Ted Dave of Vancouver, Canada launched the first Buy Nothing Day it was held in September. It wasn’t meant as a gimmick to change your habits for one day. Instead, it was meant to give pause – a chance to reflect on unconscious habits of consumption.

Now you might be asking what the heck does this have to do with my dopamine??? Glad you asked.

Right now, and for the next several weeks, you’re being absolutely hammered with ads to buy stuff. The anticipation of shopping creates a dopamine surge inside you. We think of dopamine as the “pleasure” drug. While it does feel GOOD – it’s the hormone connected with pursuit, motivation, novelty, and expectation of reward. It makes you feel like you’re on a worthwhile adventure and should keep going.

So these non-stop ads can get you pretty jacked up to shop. And that feels pretty good. The surge may be high, but the experience will be short-lived. And post-shopping there’s a potential for a BIG drop.

Your body is always working to keep you in a state of balance, so after a big surge of dopamine, it doesn’t just return to normal. It drops below your normal level. When that happens you feel flat, unmotivated, and you might want another hit of something to pump you up. That’s when you’ll be tempted to shop again.

Buy Nothing Day could become a great day to explore other dopaminergic activities:

  • Spend time in nature. 
  • Move your body in fun ways.
  • Listen to music (which may lead to moving your body in fun ways 🙂
  • Meditate – sitting, walking, yoga or any form you like.
  • Have Sex.
  • Get good sleep. 
  • Read a book you love.
  • Play games and sports
  • Have caffeine 2 hours after you wake.
  • Eat a healthy diet that supports your dopamine, or seek advice from a nutrition expert.

By the way, I’m not condemning shopping. I just know that the more conscious awareness you bring to anything you do, the more fulfilling your life will be.  That’s what I want for you – more fulfillment. And sometimes it’s by limiting experiences, that you actually experience more.

Love Debra

Please share this with someone in your life who’s totally dope. Make a plan to do something together, and notice how you feel after doing it.

*I’m not a nutritionist, so this is just information, not a recommendation: Tyrosine is a natural amino acid that’s a precursor to dopamine. L-Theanine is another. Vitamins D, B5 & B6 are all needed to produce dopamine. Magnesium and Omega 3 Essential fatty acids also support it. 

More of one and Less of the other (Part 2)

In an earlier post I recommended that you spend less time “thinking globally” and more time “acting locally”.  I shared the potential negative effects of too much attention on global issues that you can’t control. (I didn’t include this earlier, but you may want to block notifications from your local social media site – you know the one. It can be a bullhorn for complainers and fear-mongers. That will just keep you focused on all that’s wrong in your hood, instead of all that’s good.)

What are some benefits of “acting locally”?

  • You can affect change at a local level far easier.
  • When you focus on what you can control and act on it, you calm your busy mind and regulate your nervous system through movement. 
  • You make connections in the real work which stimulates your vagus nerve (huge for combating anxiety)
  • Other people’s nervous systems are affected by yours, so you bring more peace to the world by calming yourself.
  • You become more resilient – able to handle challenges and enjoy life.

What are some ways to “think locally”?

  • Look for the good in your hood. There’s tons of it, I promise you. When you see the good, you feel good. It creates a sense of possibilities inside you.
  • Look for ways to make things better and get involved in the easiest way possible.
  • Learn the name of as many neighbors on your street as you can – and say hello.
  • Buy from locally owned shops and keep money flowing in your community.
  • Thank shop staff for showing up. Workers are in short supply, and the ones who are there are feeling the stress.
  • Join a CSA to support local farmers when they need the money most. Then benefit from the freshest local food possible.
  • Shop at a farmer’s market and privately owned grocery stores if you’re lucky enough to have them. They’ll only exist if you use them.
  • Call or email your city council members just to thank them for their work – it’s a pretty thankless job and you may be amazed at how much it’s appreciated.
  • Stay informed about good things happening in your neighborhood and support them how you can – with your time, a donation, spreading the word, or just thanking them.

Here are two concerns that come up pretty regularly when I share this idea with my clients who want to reduce stress and be more productive:

  1. Don’t I need to be informed to be a good citizen?

Yes, but don’t confuse informed with inundated. As I mentioned in the earlier post, being inundated with information makes you less capable of dealing with it wisely.

Information will reach you even if stop looking for it. When you find a topic you care about and want to be informed, look for non-sensationalistic reports. Get the information, then act.

Knowledge itself is not power. What you do with knowledge is power.
I don’t stay up to date on everything happening in the world. I know my brain and body can’t handle it. But when I hear about something I care about, I find a way to act. Before elections I study candidates and how they voted on issues, and I make informed decisions based on that information. I stay away from most of the stories when I can’t do anything about them.

  1. Won’t I look stupid at parties if I don’t know what’s going on?

Yep, that might happen. Fear of looking stupid and not fitting in is a real thing. But if you’re spending your time doing things you love, creating, contributing, and enjoying your life, you’ll have more to talk about than current events that don’t concern you. Being interested in your own life makes you interesting – not to everyone – but to the people with whom you want to belong.  And we all need to belong. 
You can also spend less time talking. Take the pressure off yourself. Spend more time asking questions, listening, and learning. Most people will find you quite interesting if you ask about them 🙂

There is so much good you can do and feel if you’re not distracted by everything else.
I hope that helps. 

If you want to focus more on what you can control, check out my Free Masterclass that will give you clarity on where to focus now.

Saying No to Love, helped me be more loving.

If all had gone as planned, this would be the final day of The 30 Day Love Explosion.  This a free program I offer every couple of years because I absolutely LOVE it.

I Love the impact it makes in people’s lives. I Love that people from 10 countries have done it. I Love hearing stories of friends and families transforming their relationships. I Love that the program is simple, intuitive, and based in science. 

Let’s face it – I love LOVE!

That’s why this year I decided to do it bigger and better. I hired someone to create a new site. We updated the workbook. We were all set to go.

I was excited and my team was ready.

Then I noticed something didn’t feel right. Nothing was wrong with the project. It was sparkling and fresh and better than ever – ready to spread more love around the globe.

Something was off in me. I was stressed. I noticed constriction and heaviness in my body, when I’m used to feeling light and expansive. I was feeling overwhelmed at times. 

I wasn’t able to be fully present in my life because my mind was bouncing with all the things I had to do.

  • My coaching practice is full.
  • I’m in the final phase of testing my new online course.
  • I’m settling into a new town and hosting friends and family I haven’t seen in years. 

I realized as I scanned by body, my mind, my schedule, and my priorities, that offering The 30 Day Love Explosion this October was one thing too many.

Even though I’d spent lots of time and money to make it better…Even though people had already signed up to participate…I knew I couldn’t show up fully in that program or other parts of my life if I spread myself too thin.

So at the last minute, I canceled it. By doing that, I followed the same advice I’ve given clients in the past.

It was a hard decision. Then it was a huge relief.  I was only able to make that decision because I was clear on what matters most to me. So even though I’m not immersed in The 30 Day Love Explosion this month, I’ve been able to show up with more Love by saying no to it… for now.  I promise you, there is more love to come 🙂

If you want help getting clear so you can live as your best self with less stress and overwhelm, check out my new Free Masterclass.

Do you need more of one and less of the other?

Remember the term “Think Global. Act Local.” It was coined by Scottish social activist and town planner, and revived by environmental groups decades later. It definitely got my generation thinking about the impact of our actions on the world around us. Which is a very good thing. But too much of a good thing can be bad.

I want to introduce a slight change to that phrase and encourage you to “Think Local. Act Local.” 

Here’s why:

And even though life is evolving and changing quickly – your nervous system isn’t. You’ve got the same complex, beautifully designed wiring as your ancestors. But your world is totally different.

“A single Sunday edition of the New York Times today contains more information than typical 19th-century citizens faced in their entire lifetime.” state the authors of a 2014 study in the journal Computer in Human Behavior.

Even if you never read the paper, you are being bombarded by news from all around the world constantly – wars, floods, drought, fires, shootings, uprisings, oppression, and extinctions.  It fills your social media feed, radio, tv and more.

And frankly my dear, your nervous system isn’t designed to handle it all. You are exquisitely designed to connect with people, overcome challenges, sense danger and respond appropriately. But when you’re exposed to thousands, and even millions, of other people’s lives, and situations beyond your influence or control, your system becomes overwhelmed.

You see tragedies whirring by – you click, maybe you donate, and you scroll on. You feel bad for a moment, then perhaps a bit of relief by replying, donating, or sharing a post.

You may look fine from the outside, but inside it’s a different story. Your nervous system gets activated, ready to fight or flee, but can’t physically act in the way it’s designed to do. You go about your day, but the effects linger inside you. Whether you’re aware of them or not.

When this happens you can experience all sorts of unpleasant symptoms…irritability, trouble sleeping, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, trouble focusing, indecisiveness, impulsivity, reduce work efficiency. It will also lead to reduced ability to properly weigh and interpret information. And if you want make sense of the world, that ability is vitally important these days.

So when it comes to being bombarded by news, being a little less informed may actually help you make better decisions. You’ll be less stressed, better rested, more efficient, better able to connect with others, and able to understand and interpret information. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make informed decisions! It’s just that you’re probably getting too much.

Some stories are so compelling you can’t stop watching, you need to stay up to date, but unless the information is enabling you to act right now to save yourself or others, you’re better off turning it off and doing something nourishing, restful, productive, life affirming in some way. You’ll be more resilient and able to handle challenges in your own life when they happen – and they will.

A study out of UC Irvine reported that people who watched 6 hours of coverage daily of the Boston Marathon for the week after the event, were more likely to have higher levels of acute stress than those who were at the event or near it. Hopefully that’s enough proof to get you to stop watching, scrolling, and getting sucked in.

You may think you’d never watch 6 hours of coverage a day of a tragedy, but it doesn’t have to be that much time to still have an impact. And it doesn’t’ have to just be one event. If you’re seeing multiple tragedies and sad stories daily, you’re creating excess stress you really don’t need.

So what do you instead of spending so much time “thinking globally”?

I want to hear your ideas, and I’ll share some of my own in my next installment.

Stop doing this if you want to be truly great.

Think of someone great. Someone who inspires you, really impresses the pants off you. It may be someone quiet and unassuming, or someone who makes a big splash in the world. It can be in any field.

Nelson Mandela, Jane Goodall, Steph Curry, Margaret Atwood, Greta Thunberg, Jerry Seinfeld, Lizzo…

Whoever it is, you know what this person does not do?

They don’t try to be someone they’re not. They don’t copy what others are doing. They are uniquely themselves, doing what they do in their own way. And that’s what you admire most.

Many of us see people doing great things, making a difference in the world and think “I want to do that too”. It’s wonderful to be inspired by others. Just know that you’ll never be truly great by imitating others.

Your greatness is a gift that is wrapped in your uniqueness. All your strengths and quirks. The things that make you different, and sometimes make you feel like you don’t fit in. Accept them. Embrace them. Express them. When you are authentically yourself you can be truly successful.

The world needs more great people. Be great at being you.

To your greatness, Debra

Please share this with someone you think is great!