It’s easy to get over-eager as dream chasers with a heck of a lot of potential. You know how it goes. We make this ambitious, amazing, inspiring list of EVERYTHING we want to accomplish, and then…it dwindles.
Until there’s almost no spark left in us by the end of the year.
In today’s vlog, I’m sharing WHY I said goodbye to New Year’s resolutions, and what you can do instead to make THIS the best year ever.
It all started when my son broke my tailbone.
He was a huge baby. And he was taking his sweet time making his grand entrance into the world.
In the hospital, the doctor and nurses used suction cups, forceps, and all sorts of crazy things I’d never agree to today, knowing what I know now. But back then I was young, ignorant and screaming…“Get this baby out of me nowwwwwww!”
And I still ended up having to get that C-section.
Breaking my tailbone in labor was extremely painful. Finding out that our entire savings had been completely wiped out and I was actually drowning in debt just a few short weeks after was…well, you can imagine what it was, but several colorful phrases come to mind.
I was a new mom with a broken bum AND a broken bank account.
All that money I’d worked sooooo hard to make. Boom!
I’d been looking forward to my postnatal life to enjoy the fruits of my efforts with my new baby. And not work nearly as hard. There’d be endless cuddling, cooing, and that yummy newborn head smell…in my dreams I was bathed in baby glow. With nowhere else to be than with my son.
That fairytale scenario was instantly obliterated.
Suddenly, I had to come up with a Plan B..
I was in shock. Denial. Full-on panic. But I knew life is only 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do about it. So no matter how painful and terrifying and suffocating it was, I couldn’t allow myself to stay in that space of trauma and drama.
With this in mind, I hired a full-time nanny when he was just six weeks old, so I could get back to work and keep my entire world from crumbling down.
Fast forward a couple months. I was scheduled to go to Australia. You can bet I was in no position for a 14-hour plane ride sitting on my bum, not to mention any kind of financial position.
So I decided to do something different. I’d already arranged for my son to stay with my parents for those 10 days, but instead of going “down under,” my husband (at the time) and I stayed at our home in Austin.
That’s when War Week was born.
It was something I created out of complete, desperate necessity to wage war on the sheer terror and panic of the situation.
Here’s what I did.
I made a list of all the things I hated. All the things I was unwilling to accept and settle for in my life. Everything I wanted to change. And, mama, there was a LOT I wanted to change.
The second list I created was of all of the possible solutions to that situation. It didn’t matter the cost, or if it was some crazy, asinine idea. I didn’t worry about shooting darts at anything. I just made a list of any and all of the possible options.
My third list was the cost of every solution in that second list. That’s where I got practical. The fourth and final list was what was it going to cost me in my life, if I didn’t come up with a solution.
Those first four lists were my baseline for War Week. And let’s be honest…the vast majority of humanity will never go through this exercise.
Here’s what I learned, because I did.
There is a solution to everything. If we are willing to dig deep enough.
Every problem has a solution. And every solution has a price tag. But here’s the problem. Most of us are tracking the wrong cost.
We’re getting cheap on the solution cost, instead of realizing the cost of NOT finding a solution is much more than what we can afford. So many of us make excuses and say that, that therapy or that class is wayyyy too expensive, when we really should be looking at the cost of not getting help or learning a new skill. And it is always astronomically higher.
Wouldn’t you rather pay for the solution than the problem?
It’s a no brainer. When we finally understand the true cost of living with our problems, that’s when we become creative and resourceful.
Finally, the last piece of my first ever War Week was prioritizing all of the different pieces in my life, mapping out a war strategy on my calendar for the coming 12 months.
When you start looking at all this stuff on paper, it can seem daunting. That’s why we have to remember that being overwhelmed is a choice. A choice that will do NOTHING for you.
We always, always have the power to choose how we feel. You can either get swept away by drama and panic and think, “Oh my gosh! How am I ever going to tackle this???”
Or you can choose to become empowered and face your challenges.
Ask yourself, “If I have all the bandwidth and resources to solve these problems, how would I go about it? What would be number one on my list?”
Once you have number one, move onto your second priority and so on. Analyze which are mission critical, urgent, and which are just convenient or not time pressing at all.
Then, prioritize each one of those solutions.
One year later, my life was completely different.
By refusing to give up on myself―and sticking to it―I changed my life. I stuck to it regardless of how I felt at any given moment.
You see, discipline is one of the key skills that all high achievers and dream chasers need. Real life is messy, loud and painful. We have to learn to dance in and celebrate the imperfect perfection of everything around us.
We may never be “in the right mood” for that kind of work. But we still have to do it.
Getting it on paper got me out of my head.
When you keep your problems in your head, it always seems harder than it is. It’s like bombs are going off all the time, and you feel like you’re just constantly in duck and cover mode. Once I wrote out my solutions, I was able to rise above my emotions and look at my situation from a very objective standpoint.
They call it the ‘observer effect’ in psychology.
I could imagine this was someone else’s life. What would I, as a best friend or mentor, recommend they do in this scenario?
When you remove yourself emotionally from the problem, everything changes.
That first War Week gave me a step by step formula for the entire year. In this way, I was able to dig myself out of a crazy hole and get back a proactive path. In the 13 years since its infancy, I’ve refined it. And thousands upon thousands of women warriors have joined me in this process and are still, to this day, waging war in their own lives.
So I invite you, whether you’re doing it with me, or whether you’re doing it by yourself, carve out some time and do your own War Week.
I always love to save it for the last week of December, when the whole world checks out for the holidays, and I FINALLY have quiet time without interruptions to check in. But you can do it any time. I know a good friend, who does it every February, after the holiday madness and her kids are back in school.
It doesn’t matter when you do it. Just pick a time and do it.
You owe it to yourself. And if you want to collaborate with a tribe of like-minded women, here’s an open invitation. Come join us, and we’ll do it together!
There is so much power in a group of women, uniting to bring this type of focused energy into the world.
And, mama, I’d love for you to be part of it.