I chose that word for 2017. It’s a good one because it takes my breath away a little bit.
It’s me telling life, “there will be more.” That feels a little lofty, because I was striding in 2016 — hitting on all cylinders in a great way.
And I want more?
Yes, I do.
Why wouldn’t I:
a) give that to myself in this one life I’m living, and
b) give that to others whose lives I touch in the coming year?
Lest you think that amplify simply means louder, faster and top-speed hustling in life, I can assure you that it can mean so much more than that.
You can amplify how you rest.
You can amplify taking your time and not hurrying.
You can amplify the beauty of your surroundings — in your office cubicle or in your back yard.
You can amplify the sparkle that you already possess.
Here’s my guide for how you can amplify 2017 and be able to look back upon it (even if it’s a political shitstorm — and even if there are more deaths of creative and visionary icons):
1. Make plans. Really — write them down. Create the vision (a vision board is even better).
This is how you go from an “I’m gonna…” life to an “I have” life. When you write words that describe what you want as if it has happened, that puts energy and intention behind those ideas.
You start doing things that put you in the path of those desires.
You begin living “as if” until it becomes who you are.
Words are powerful, and if you can create a collage of images that connect with those words that are on paper or inside of you mind, that’s even more powerful.
I think some people go into creating a vision board by thumbing through magazines for stuff they want — cars, houses, beach vacations.
That’s totally cool, but go one better and ask yourself what you think getting those things will offer you in terms of how you’ll feel. That’s what you really want — the feeling.
True story: One of the things I wrote that I wanted when I did a “living as if” recap of 2016 in January 2016 was a certain car.
I wanted a BMW X1 and I intended to be driving it by December of 2016.
What did it represent for me? What was the feeling I wanted (and not just the new car smell or leather seats)?
That kind of car represented feelings of elegance, luxury and care I wanted more of in my life. It didn’t have anything to do with status or what I thought other people thought of me if they knew I was driving a high end vehicle.
I spend a lot of time in my car delivering and picking up my children, running errands, going to the gym and other appointments.
I eat lunch in my car, at times, and have answered tons of emails and written blog posts in lots of parking lots.
Whatever I’m driving is a mini-habitat for me, and I tried to negate it for a long time and told myself it wasn’t that important.
I was wrong.
I worked my butt off this year and I kept my vision. November found me at an auto dealership signing papers to buy a 2013 BMW X3 (I ramped it up — the X1 was smaller).
Let me tell you something — that car has been a life-changer. I step into that higher level of elegance, luxury and care for myself when I put that BMW in “drive” and carry myself down the road of my life.
Most importantly, I put some muscle into what I wanted — an object of my desire, AND — most importantly — those feeling states.
2. Good company: Surround yourself with people who lift you, listen to you and make time to be in your physical presence.
I am the ultimate creator in my life, but I do not live or work in a void. I thrive on connections with other people in just about every aspect of my life.
I know that the success of my business was elevated because I surrounded myself with an exquisite group of women in my mastermind.
We shared thousands of ideas; we were sounding boards for each other; we took trips together where we shared common and extraordinary experiences. We are for one another in every way.
That goes for my family and the other friendships I have. We have conversations — not just emoji texts, but words over the phone and — most important to me — in-person contact.
I have friends that I will schedule lunches with months out so we make sure we are together for a few hours — so I can touch their hand when they tell a story or see their faces when I tell mine.
Give yourself good company. Expose yourself to environments where you will find these people if you feel you don’t have them. If you show up with an open heart, kindness and curiosity, you will find your tribe.
And most importantly, become conscious of relationships that may have run their course. It’s okay to let go.
3. Surround yourself with beauty.
Two other words that will guide me in 2017 in addition to AMPLIFY?
Freedom and beauty.
Surround yourself with beauty always and in all ways.
It can be the clothing you wear (like that swimsuit cover-up I’m wearing in the photo that I got in Capri — right?!). The music you listen to. The items on your bedside table.
What’s the first thing you see when you wake up each morning? Maybe it’s the beautiful face of a loved one. Maybe it’s the words you in a meditation or prayer.
I promise you that the more you intentionally surround yourself with beauty, the more the quality of your life will improve. Your decisions. Your thoughts. Your emotions. Your friendships. Your relationship with your body.
It doesn’t have to cost a dime — I’ll bet there are lots of things that are already around you that you can look upon with a set of fresh eyes and take in the beauty.
My beautiful things: an orchid on my bedside table; the classic white plates that are my “everyday” dishes; the music on my Spotify playlists; the way my books are arranged on my office shelves; the way I look into the eyes of my husband and children.
4. What rhythms pace your daily life? Can you refine those rhythms and those habits to amplify your performance.
My family pays an annual visit to the Ali Center, a museum in my hometown of Louisville, KY that honors the life and work of The Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali.
We went there on 12.27 in celebration of my dad’s birthday, and I found all kinds of photos and questions speaking to me about life and what to consider for the coming year. I love this one: what rhythms pace your daily life?
If you want to change, improve or transform your life in 2017, you have to look at what you’re doing on the daily to see if it’s supporting your goals and dreams. This helps you go beyond saying, “I’m gonna exercise three times a week this year and eat clean.”
You have to articulate what you’re going to do each day to make that happen.
- What days of the week will you exercise?
- What will you do?
- Where will you go?
- What time?
- What will you eat?
- What will you need to have on hand / get at the store to eat well?
- Do you have go-to recipes that you can count on that you can prepare in advance or on the fly?
Consider the other things that you do that are a part of the rhythms of your daily life; you have to know what you already do in order to decide if you’re going to change or augment it. Some things to think about:
- How do you choose what you will wear each day?
- What do you listen to when you’re in the car?
- How much screen time do you have? You cool with that? Or do you need to change it?
- Who do you talk to regularly each day? How do you communicate with them?
- What about your work day? Do you get up and move around frequently?
- Or, if you move around a lot, can you take time to slow, sit and breathe?
- What do you do after work each day?
- How do you take care of your skin?
- What do you do to get ready for bed each night?
Those are just a few things you can think about and make choices around to amplify your life. Those daily rhythms cumulatively lead to amplified performance (how you think, feel and move) for your life as a whole.
5. What was your red bicycle moment in 2016? Now what are you going to do about it?
Look at my hero and me. Sooooo pretty. : )
To quote Ali, “It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true.”
Okay, so what is this red bike moment stuff?
Muhammad Ali’s life took a turn at age 12 when his new red bicycle was stolen.
He was with his brother Rudy at a home and garden show in downtown Louisville, and when they came out of the building, his bike was gone. Ali, then Cassius Clay, said he was “gonna whoop whoever stole it.”
The building also housed a boxing gym, and it happened that the officer he reported the stolen bike to was also a boxing coach in that gym. He told Ali that if his intention was to whoop somebody, then he’d better gain some skills to do so effectively.
That moment heralded the beginning of his boxing career; Ali began training at Columbia Gym in Louisville, went on to win matches locally and out-of-state, and eventually became the heavyweight champion of the world.
He had a choice. That 12 year old boy had a choice. I’m 45 years old and I have choices. You’re however old you are, and you have choices.
That 12 year old boy could have gone off in a rage and taken out his anger physically on someone and possibly created further troubles for himself.
He could have ignored the cop, lamented his loss and gone home to his family crestfallen without any plan or option.
He chose himself. He chose to take a loss — a shitty, could-happen-to-anybody loss — and not just learn something, but sculpt his quest to be a great athlete, man and humanitarian.
One simple choice.
I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media where people are lamenting 2016 and saying it can basically ‘fuck off’ and they never want to think about this year again.
I get it. I had those moments, even in the magnificence of the year I experienced. I mean, fuck — Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds dying within 24 hours of one another? The wallop of news such as that feels relentless at times.
But I’m not telling this year to suck it. I’m willing to look at any struggle, loss or disappointment that I’ve known in 2016 and ask myself how I’m going to make it my red bike moment.
How will I rise? What will I learn? How do I want that to define the story of who I am?
What’s your red bike moment? What are you going to do about it? How are you going to direct your mind when it comes to this struggle or story? There is always a choice.
That’s what I know so far, good people. And I’m ready to learn more in the coming year. I have some plans in place for 2017 and I’m sitting down on the floor of my office today with a massive calendar and mapping out even more — month by month (see #1).
I’ve got a growing list of opportunities for working with me in 2017.
Here’s a list that will link you to all you need to know about getting some personalized, amplified life coaching from yours truly:
- Lavish, a live dinner / coaching event in Louisville, KY on January 14th, 2017
- Body of Work, a six week group coaching program via telecourse / online; begins January 19th, 2017
- 1:1 coaching – Body of Work method – just you and me for three months; Body of Work Life Coaching or Body of Work Weight Loss Coaching — annnd, anyone who signs up for a 1:1 Body of Work coaching program between now and January 8th, 2017 will get a ticket to my Lavish dinner event (there’s one on January 14th or you can use it for a Lavish event that will take place later in the year — there’s one each season).
- Body of Work 1:1 Weekend Intensives: This is the ultimate — you will travel to an incredible destination (you take care of your travel arrangements – I’ve got your hotel, meals, excursions and, of course, your coaching) and we will spend the weekend working on whatever your bring (life planning, a big project, a transition, your body/weight – you name it). This is a top-level, high luxury experience. I aim to blow your mind (even more than I already do ; ).
Stay tuned. There’s more to come. Happy New Year.