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Monet Diamante | Create Your Legacy

The goal isn't to live forever. It's to create something that will.

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Goals

The Law of Process: Leadership Develops Daily, Not In a Day

Champions don’t become Champions in the ring. They are merely recognized there.

I learned a good lesson yesterday. In my brain I’m constantly and excessively challenging myself to do better.

I like to have the baseline for which I live at “extraordinary” and I know I’m intense and crazy and hard to handle. (to my future husband – if you’re reading this one day – I promise I have other highly redeeming qualities to make up for it) Continue reading “The Law of Process: Leadership Develops Daily, Not In a Day”

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Would You Roll the Dice on Your Future?

I had the pleasure this week of going out to El Centro, California, for the Imperial Valley Higher Education Week. They do an amazing job of setting up the opportunity for about 30 college representatives to visit a couple handfuls of schools and thousands of students over a few days.

While at Southwest High School, a student approached my table and sort of just looked around. I asked him a few questions like “What schools are you looking at?” and “What are you passionate about?” To the latter, he replied, “I don’t know.”

Me “If you don’t mind me asking, what are you planning on majoring in?”

Student “I’m not sure, yet.”

“How are you going to decide?”

“I don’t really know. I guess I’ll just roll the dice and see what happens.”

My heart totally sank and my eyes got wide. “Do you mind if I give you a tip?” “Well, I guess not. Go ahead.”

“When I was in high school, I was obsessed with the Hospitality Industry. I made it my career and I loved it. Until I got exhausted and realized I lost my passion for it because I did nothing but work. But, you see, I pigeon-holed myself into this Industry. It was the only experience I had. No one out of the industry would hire me because it’s all I knew and the only place I felt I could add value in the world. I became like you, not sure what my future would hold, not even sure what I was passionate about anymore.

I began writing – every night or every other night or once a week. One thing, on a piece of paper near my bed. I would write down whatever happened that day or week that inspired me the most, or that I was the most proud of. After several months, I looked at the list and not surprisingly, nothing on it had to do with food or drinks.

Instead, it said things like ‘was able to promote the line cook to kitchen manager, thus allowing him to earn more money, better support his family, and be more productive at work because he was happier.’ Everything on the list had to do with people – personal development, building people up, helping them grow, connecting them to each other.

It was then that I KNEW that whatever job I took or whatever course I went in my career, I had to be in a position where I was helping people”

His reply was very sweet, something like “that is some pretty interesting advice you gave me. I may have to look into that.” Such a nice young student, who is obviously very bright and does care about his future, but simply because he doesn’t know how to figure out his passion, was willing to roll the dice.

What about you? Do you know what you are passionate about… really? If you don’t, I encourage you to try to find it by really doing some self-exploration and figuring out what drives you. What would you do if you were tired, angry, fed up? What do you value? What is the most important thing to you in your life? Not everyone wants to change the world. There is no “stupid” passion. Maybe you love marshmallows and you’re Jewish. So you find a way to make kosher s’mores and share them with the world. Or maybe you’re obsessed with your keychain collection that’s been growing since 1995 – find the other people in the world who are obsessed with keychains and start a video blog.  Do whatever you are excited about provided you’re excitement is passion (see below.). All that matters is that it’s real and you aren’t leaving your future to chance.

If you can’t decide what to do with your career or even what to major in in college, I urge you to spend some time in thought. Write things down. Just don’t leave it up to the dice.

Interest versus Passion Monet Diamante
Interest versus Passion
Monet Diamante

The Marshmallow Experiment – Delayed Gratification

“Never give up what you want most for what you want now.”

marshmallowexperiment

In the late 1960s, The Marshmallow Experiment was conducted by researchers at Stanford University. Children were presented with a marshmallow and told that when the adult left the room, the child could eat the treat OR, wait 15 minutes until the adult returns and be presented with ANOTHER, thus enjoy two instead of one. Most did not eat the treat immediately, but only 1/3 of those waited any time at all waited until the adult re-entered the room to give them another.

15 years later, each child was reviewed based on SAT score, BMI, and other measurements. Turns out, the children who waited for the second treat overall had higher test scores, were healthier or more fit, and were considered more “successful” than the ones who ate the treats sooner, or overall higher achievers in whatever professional field they had chosen.

The ability to delay gratification, or be more future-focused, is proven to be a quality of many successful people. If you have a tendency to be more present-focused and have a tendency to act on impulse, or struggle to persist without distractions toward your long-term goals, only living “in the moment,” do some research on how you can become more future-focused. For example, try writing down your goals and then working BACKWARDS to determine the actions you must take and a timeframe for them, similar to what you would do if you had an appointment and had to be on time.

It’s important to have balance, too. If you think you are too future-focused and find that you sometimes lack enjoyment in the present, find techniques you can use to develop that as a strength. For example, force yourself to stop and listen to the sounds around you, identify specific scents in a room, and put your cell phone away when you are walking or waiting for something.

I’m interested – what have you done to help yourself become more focused in the present OR in the future?

Enough to Commit but Not Enough to Hate Myself

Analysis Paralysis, per Wikipedia, is ‘the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.’

"Think about it long enough to commit to working harder more consistently, but not long enough to hate myself."
“Think about it long enough to commit to working harder more consistently, but not long enough to hate myself.”

The text conversation above ensued after I received my progress pics from my personal trainer, Joe Dantrassy (sidenote: if you are looking for a personal trainer in San Diego, he is the man). I switched from cycling last year to starting mostly strength training and cardio in January. The goal was to reshape my body: add muscle where I desperately needed it, tone, slim down, and look fit. We all want to look good naked, right?

Joe takes photos every week and usually I never want to see them, especially the past few weeks as I dealt with stomach issues leaving me feeling less than good about myself. I felt relatively good this week as I finally have all that under control, so asked him to send my pictures over. What ensued was an onslaught of emotions: disgust, sadness, disappointment, and, the immediate reaction of “ugh, I hate myself.” Let me back this up with the fact that I took a month off of working out consistently, and did not start back to five days in the gym, six days of cardio minimum, until about four weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been busting my butt trying to get into “the best shape of my life.” In any event, my legs tend to get swollen quickly – especially in the heat – and the best thing I can do to describe it is by calling it heat edema. Mind you, I’ve never had extremely defined muscles in my legs – ever. So working on them with the added edema issues has been frustrating. I had just texted him and told him that I HATE my legs, and his reply was “the question is, what are you going to do about it?”

I almost replied “work harder” but that seemed misleading – I have been working as hard as I can over the past few weeks. Adding “more consistently” seemed more valid. Then, I thought of the book I am currently reading, The Will to Win, by one of my favorite Sharks – businessman and racing enthusiast, Robert Herjavec. Robert is intensely passionate and competitive, and has proven it by building an extremely successful business, investing in many others, and focusing on his family at the same time.

In the book, he discusses the advice given to him by his racing coach. When he is on that track, he needs to think about his competitors JUST LONG ENOUGH to figure out how he will advance, and then take action. If he waits just one milli-second, that tiny amount of time can determine whether he wins or loses. He compared this to business and making a sale: think about your competitors long enough to determine their position, and then quickly determine your steps and take action.

When you are constantly trying to better yourself, YOU are your own competition. I am competitive to a fault and I feel that is what drives my success in many ways. I used to get stuck in “Analysis Paralysis” – thinking too much, too long, without taking action. Most of us need to stop thinking and start doing. You may have heard “where focus goes, energy flows”. I 100% believe this. When I focus on all of the things I am not happy about or the things that are out of my control, it takes focus away from what I’m going to do to get to where I want to be. This is true in many aspects of life.

1 – Determine the position of your competitor.

2 – Decide what you need to do to get ahead.

3 – Take immediate, decisive action.

If you can follow these without getting stuck in paralysis by analysis, knowing you will either win or lose, and being prepared for any result and how you will learn from it, your chances of success will grow exponentially. Agree? Disagree? How do you motivate yourself when you feel like you aren’t making progress towards your goals? In my next post, I’ll discuss how fear keeps us from taking action and techniques to start thinking fearlessly.

Stop thinking, start doing.
Stop thinking, start doing.

As a side note, in my last post I was excited about getting ready to Ride Down the California Coast in the CCC. Unfortunately, I had some training setbacks and am not going to be able to participate. I want to thank my friend Anna K, whose little girl I counseled at Juvenile Arthritis Camp last summer, for her donation. Her donation is still going to The Arthritis Foundation which helps organize activities throughout the year for the over 300,000 kids that have Autoimmune Arthritis AND adults with Arthritis and related diseases, as well. If you didn’t know that Kids Get Arthritis, too, you can find more info on their website, http://www.arthritis.org.

Sorry, Kids, but One Million Facebook Likes Won’t Reach Your Goals for You

Wouldn’t you love to see this conversation happen at your office:

You: “I’ve exceeded all of my goals and I’m adding value to this company. I deserve a raise.”

Your Boss: “Hmmm. Not really convinced. Go ahead and bargain that on Facebook. If your picture gets one million likes, I’ll go ahead and give it to you.”

Seriously?! Keep dreaming.

They started the Facebook page TwoGirlsAndAPuppy after seeing others use the same strategy to get their parents to give in. Source: Facebook
These smart kids started the Facebook page TwoGirlsAndAPuppy after seeing others use the same strategy to get their parents to give in. Good hustle on their part, but this is becoming way too trendy. Source: Facebook

The first time I saw this picture of these sweet kids with their sign, I thought it was funny. I chuckled. I really did. Just imagining a dad trying to get his kids off of his back and throwing this huge number out there, not even thinking. And then, it made headlines. Now I see these all the time. “Here’s a picture of my sandwich. Please like it so I can get a puppy!” The fact that a parent would do this and REALLY MEAN IT… knowing it’s been done before… this is what baffles me.

I am seriously scared for this next generation of kids who are going to think that praise via social media is the way to reach your goals. On one side, I can definitely appreciate the hustle these kids have. Nothing wrong with that. Every kid – every person on the planet in fact – wants to reach their goals in the easiest most effective way. I’m not a parent but I can foresee that the value of hard work is dissipating and frankly, it’s scary.

When I was a kid, I would iron my dad’s shirts for ten cents a shirt. TEN CENTS. If it was long sleeves, I got fifteen cents. As soon as I turned fifteen, literally ON my birthday, I started working at the local summer camp as a Counselor. Our parents bought us what we needed and what we didn’t need – like that ridiculously expensive shirt at Abercrombie that I wanted so badly just because it’s what all the cool kids were wearing – we had to work for. And I’ll tell you I remember everything about it, too – it was Garnet (foresight to my future at Florida State, perhaps?) with a slightly glittery, white Abercrombie across the front. I wore it until I wore it out (or until the freshmen 15 crept up on me).

Source: www.stustock.com
Source: http://www.stustock.com

In my current position, I meet different high school students every single day. Our conversations don’t extend past the hour or so I meet them in the classroom, but there are several that I have known for over a year now that always stop to talk to me when they see me on campus – some of them have jobs, one even has his own business already and he is only 17. He created his own website, and he networks via social media. Sure, he uses social media to his advantage – but he has already laid the ground work. He’s not asking for anything, he’s simply building relationships. I told him that he reminds me of a young Gary Vaynerchuk and he had no clue who I was talking about. He just knows how to work hard, live his passion, and hustle. These students are few and far between.

“Ask and you shall receive”

Everyone has heard this phrase and frankly, I’m not a fan because I believe you need to work really hard, put yourself in a deserving position, and then ask. Not just share a picture on Facebook and hope for a million likes. Obviously it worked for these kids, but what are all of the kids doing it now learning? Nothing.

However, now that I think about it, I used to be the opposite of this saying. I used to be afraid to ask for things – even things I knew I deserved. I have ALWAYS been afraid of rejection. Probably because I did work so hard growing up and just figured that’s the way things worked. Until I got to College.

The Best Professional/Business/Interview Advice I Ever Received

In 2006, I was living in Tucson and attending Pima Community College for Hotel & Restaurant Management. At the ripe age of 20, I had all the confidence in the world that I was the BEST in the Industry (I was humble but my self-confidence was 100% in my ability to out-perform everyone else I worked with). I was always learning, teaching myself, applying what I learned. I was bored in school because I felt like the Hospitality Industry was common sense to me – I’ve been in it since I was 15, after all.

After making connections with someone who worked for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, I found out about a job available at Canyon Ranch, one of the most highly revered health and wellness resorts in the country, as a Group Sales Coordinator. At the time, it was my dream job. Before the interview, I called my Hospitality Sales Professor, Michael Hirsch, for advice. He said to me, verbatim, “at the end of that interview you need to sell yourself. There are a lot of other people with more experience and more years on you, but no one has the passion and ability to learn and no one will work harder. If you don’t close your interview with that, don’t even come to class on Monday.” It literally gives me chills replaying that conversation in my head because he was dead serious about the last part. Most powerful words of advice I have ever received. I showed up looking professional, interviewed with the Director of Sales, Candace, totally butchered some of my answers, but sold myself at the end when she asked if I had any questions. I nailed it. On my first day, we had lunch together at the property restaurant. She told me that she had no intention to hire me until I made that final statement.

The point is, you can’t just want something badly and gain the support of everyone around you without working for it and THEN asking for it. A six-pack won’t appear because all of your friends are cheering you on and believe in you. You have to work out. You won’t be number one in sales because you post a picture of your product and 30,000 people share it. You have to stay at least ten steps ahead of your competitors in the market – all of the other people selling the same products, trying to get the same jobs, whatever it is. Where Social Media will help you accelerate your company momentum, it will NEVER create it for you – you have to put in the work.

Good things don’t come to those who wait – or share pictures on Facebook. They come to those who work their asses off and never give up.

Let’s Ride Down the California Coast!

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My life-long goal: to ride a bike from San Francisco to Santa Monica. 2013…I told you I was going to own you and, well, I am. 

I have since update this post as of September 1, 2013…….. scroll down for an update!!!

I am EXTREMELY excited to announce that I just registered for the 2013 California Coast Classic – an 8 day bike ride from San Francisco to Santa Monica – 525 miles!

Last year, I completed the two day version of the ride and it was definitely The Ride of a Lifetime. I met some incredible people along the way, and prior to the ride I had connected with Sean Conley, who started the team Playa Pushers a couple years back. They are a FUN group mainly out of LA, so I decided to join their team this year! I’m stoked for the ride because of the relationships you build along the way, the breathtaking scenery on the coast, and the promise that it will be an adventure like no other. But, most importantly, the funds raised by the riders benefit The Arthritis Foundation. Most of you know that I have had JRA since I was two-years-old (now, they called it Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, but in my day (25 years ago!) it was still call Rheumatoid). In the US alone, there are over 300,000 children with some form of Arthritis – yep – kids. I ride so that one day there will be a cure, so we can help raise awareness for the disease, and to give all of the kids that currently have it a sense of HOPE, that if I can do it, 25 years in to my diagnosis, there is hope for them as well.

“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Jimmy V

If you or someone you know rides a bike, I encourage you to join all 300 of us! As I write this, there are room for only 150 more people (or so). If you want to join the group, the Playa Pushers can always use more team members. You must enjoy drinking wine. OK…not really, but there is plenty of it to be had! Contact me at monetdiamante at gmail dot com for more info, and check out the link below for details on the ride OR to make a donation in lieu of joining us! Every donation, no matter how big or how small, makes such an impact!

Check out this video of Caitlin, who has JIA and whose father, Dave, rides for her every year. Brings me to tears every time I watch it, but really drives home why we do this.

What Have I Been Up To?

Updated on September 1, 2013

Hi, everyone! I’m updating this because unfortunately, this ride is not going to happen for me this year. I had some unexpected stomach issues and liver problems earlier this year due to the meds I was taking and had to stop training for the ride. I was extremely disappointed to have to back out, but I knew after weighing the positives and negatives, that I would put myself in a bad position if I tried to continue training, knowing what I was going through.

I appreciate all of your support + thoughts + love!  The ride is still on my bucket list, just not this year 🙂 . Love ya’ll. Stay persistent 🙂

Being Interested vs. Being Committed

If you’re merely interested in something, you’ll make excuses. If you’re committed to something, you’ll make it happen!

I’ve heard versions of this quote over the past year or so but it has never meant so much to me as it does now! Being committed to something is SO DIFFERENT from being interested. Being committed means making sacrifices on what you want RIGHT NOW so that you can have what you really want in the long run. It means not making excuses. It means having a positive attitude even when you feel like nothing is going right. It means having self-control. In 2012, I was interested in getting my health and fitness back together. In 2013, I committed to it.

First of all, I have sucked at writing anything this year so HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of yinz! I procrastinated on this post for a few reasons. Mostly because I’ve been so ridiculously BUSY but for good reasons. Partially because I’m not sure what people really want to read about. And sort of because I’m not positive how much I want to publicize! All things I’m working on and sorting out, but I have quite a bit to update you on now! So far 2013 has been about getting myself back to the Monet I left behind in December 2011 when my Arthritis came out of remission. I’ve missed her, and she is definitely BACK!

Towards the end of last year when I took a really hard look at my diet and workouts (or lack thereof), I realized that it was time to make some REALLY big changes. Truth be told, and even though I say it was my favorite year, it was challenging and most of it had to do with health, but much of it just had to do with not prioritizing my health/nutrition/fitness over other things and being afraid of what would happen if I “overdid it”. 2013 has been a HUGE mindset shift to decided+committed to new goals.

I’ve definitely been a little selfish this year (as some of my friends have already noticed since I’ve been MIA…sorry guys!). I’ve been working out with an AWESOME trainer at World Gym in Pacific Beach. He has been PHENOMENAL in getting me on track, pushing me past what I think my limits are, and constantly motivating me. The results I’ve had in just four weeks shock me. You can find me on Instagram (UN monetdiamante) and see a progress picture – I’ll keep posting them monthly there and eventually on here as well! I have almost completely changed my diet. Where I was eating relatively healthy, I was definitely only about 80% committed to it. Since 2012, I haven’t had any sweets, which used to be my huge weakness! I’m not going to lie and say I’m not craving sweets at all, but I’m definitely NOT giving in to it which is most important. My diet is pretty strict, I drink at least a gallon of H2O a day, eat every three hours-ish, no fruit after 3 pm, usually no starchy carbs after lunch, and am in the gym for 1-2 hours a day, six days a week. I recommend you check with your doc before changing your diet or starting a workout regimen. That’s just a disclaimer. I didn’t check with mine but only because I know I’m going to do it with or without her permission.

“It’s not that some people have will power and others don’t.

It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.”

As for my relentless body – it is such a force to be reckoned with and drives me crazy, but God knows I love a good challenge! Coming in to 2013 I had my RA under control and I figured working out would be a great way to keep my mind off of the pain of Fibromyalgia – which, by the way, it has been, and if you have Fibro, I STRONGLY encourage you to get active, as DIFFICULT as that may sound. BUT, I have some new challenges this year – ALREADY! I’ve been dealing with inflammation of my bladder, but it appears to be on the up-and-up (or maybe that’s just the muscle relaxers talking). I also got a phone call from my doctor’s office last Monday regarding my recurring lab results – which are always absolutely PERFECT.

It appears that my liver function is a little haywire – both my AST and ALT enzyme levels are pretty high, indicating that it is not functioning like a normal liver should. I’ve been on Methotrexate to treat my RA symptoms for a little over a year and my doctor just started to ween me off of it in the beginning of the year. However, with the AST/ALT levels so high, they told me to discontinue it immediately and go back in two weeks to see if they went down on their own. So here’s hoping for that. In the meantime, I’ve only had one fever this year and one migraine so I’m going to go ahead and call it a good month. I’ll keep you posted on the liver situation.

All of this being said, I’m 1000% committed to getting myself where I want to be physically this year. I have even committed to training for a fitness competition! Pushing to be ready for August 17! Judging by the quick results I have had so far, I am much more confident in the August date than I initially was. I know a large percentage of my audience here also deal with different autoimmune diseases, so I really hope that my actions inspire you and remind you to NEVER GIVE UP. It won’t always be easy but it will always be worth it. I feel better now then I have combined over the past 13 months, and I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you!

Stay inspired and stay persistent!

Subscribe to my blog for updates in your email when I post something new, follow me on Instagram at monetdiamante, Tweet at me @diamantemonet, or like my page on Facebook – Monet Diamante – Persist Without Exception.

How to Make 2013 Kick Ass

It’s almost here. The tail end of 2012. You either loved it, hated it, or have no idea where it went. It’s that time of year: people start to think about what will be different next year and get jacked up sideways about starting a new business, getting a promotion, or losing 20 pounds, only to forget what they even resolved to do shortly into February. New Years Resolutions often involve picking your weaknesses and “deciding” to change them when the clock strikes midnight. Then, after seven days…or three weeks…or maybe even two months, “real life” settles in, your goals begin to change, you begin to make excuses, and before you know it it is December 31 and your life is mostly the same as it was one year prior. Sound familiar? Keep reading.

I’ve already talked about how 2012 was my favorite year. I wasn’t lying. Here is my advice based on how I made 2012 kick ass more than 2011 (which was seriously tough to beat) and how you can make 2013 crush 2012.

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  1. Reflect.

I’m a big fan of action. I discuss it often and take it daily. But there’s something about sitting down and really taking a long, deep, thought-provoking look at the past 364 days that will make it much easier to reach your goals in 2013. This is not time to sulk about goals you failed to meet, or how you’re ending this year single, AGAIN. Get real with yourself. Did you set goals for 2012? If yes, write them all down (since most of you probably lost the hypothetical piece of paper you wrote them on). Look at each one and reflect. A) Did I meet this goal? B) Why or why not? C) Is it still important to me?

  1. Decide.

Go through that list you just made and follow up on the third part: Is it still important to me?

If YES, and you did not meet it last year, list the reasons why. If your reasons are that you didn’t have enough money, support, or resources, the first thing on your to-do list when you finish this article is to go watch Tony Robbins – Why We Do What We Do. Come up with a solution for each reason on how you can make it different next year.

If NO, is there another goal that replaces that one? I’ve often heard (and sometimes used) the phrase “Change the plan but never change the goal.” The more I learn and grow, the more I realize this is not the best advice 100% of the time. For example, I failed to achieve a goal in 2012 but only because I made a conscious decision to change it. I knew that particular goal would, in the long term, not be the best business decision for me as I build my personal brand. So I changed it to a more solid short term goal that would lead to long term success without being detrimental to my reputation and success.

  1. Create.

Develop new goals for yourself. What are some of the things you thought about recently that you would like to pursue but haven’t? Maybe you want to get your scuba diving certification, or try two new restaurants a week, or start a DIY Design blog (which my amazing friend Danna did in 2012 – Trimmed and Tailored). No goal is too big or too small. Write them all down. Are they realistic? Make them challenging enough that you will have to reach outside of your comfort zone to achieve them, but physically possible. A goal to beat Felix Baumgartner’s record of freefalling in space sounds fun but it isn’t exactly achievable for most of us (and if you can achieve that, please reach out to me so I can interview you).

Remember, your goals should be challenging but realistic. Make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Sensitive.

  1. Act.

My favorite word. Begin. Take action. Stop thinking and start doing. Most people honestly don’t even show up in their own lives. They go day by day by day, with little excitement and the same routine. If you want 2013 to be better, you’re going to have to do things you’ve probably never done before. Don’t even wait until Tuesday. Start right now. The difference between people who had a mediocre year in 2012 and those who had an incredible year is that the former spent most of their time thinking and the latter spent most of their time acting. It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission. Don’t be afraid to go out on a ledge and try something new. Fear is the enemy of action.

“If you’re not working on your best idea right now, you’re doing it wrong.” David Heinemeier Hansson, creator, Ruby on Rails @dhh @rails

Let’s say you start the year off on the right foot. You have your goals written down somewhere you can see them every day, you are taking appropriate action, you have eliminated excuses from your vocabulary, and then, life happens. Someone passes away, you lose your job, you deal with family emergencies, depression, substance abuse, health issues. This is the easiest time to forget about the promises you made to yourself and start “dealing with life”. How do you remain resilient through tough times and overcome obstacles, while still achieving your goals and kicking ass?

  1. Know your purpose. Your purpose will get you up and out of bed every morning.
  2. Be passionate. Have something that is driving you. If you have a passion, you will not allow life to “get in the way.” It will be part of the way.
  3. Be consistent. It takes anywhere between three to six weeks to create a habit for the average person, but just a few to break one. It’s much easier to stay on track than it is to get back on.
  4. Have a support system. A few key friends, family members, or mentors who know what your goals are and encourage you positively. When shit hits the fan, call them for guidance.
  5. Have a positive attitude. Any time you go to say something negative about how you can’t do something or have something you want, change it to an “I will” statement. I promise that whatever you focus on in your mind will control most of what actually happens to you in your life. Thinking you can’t is a sure fire way to ensure you won’t.
  6. Don’t get stuck in paralysis by analysis. Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about taking action and all of the things that could possibly happen, that we become paralyzed in thought and stop there. Do not fall into this trap. As scary as it is, sometimes, you just have to take a leap of faith.
  7. Have a solid work-life balance. Know the percentage of your time that you can devote to yourself, your family, your friends, and your j-o-b or business on a weekly basis to keep yourself balanced and when you find that this is not happening, ask for support and make the necessary changes.
  8. Decide how hard you can be on yourself and stay in a healthy range. I am the worst at this. I criticize myself daily. It’s helped me to become very successful but it has also held me back. For example: When I ride (I am a cyclist) in groups, I used to get extremely frustrated when I was trailing behind or drafting more often than other riders. When your emotions get stirred up, and you are on a bike, you will become physically weaker. I’ve learned to be OK with knowing I am riding with stronger riders, and just pushing myself as hard as I can. No one is as hard on me as I am on myself, but I’ve learned to not allow that to hold me back.
  9. Get uncomfortable. If you find yourself getting complacent because things are going well, it’s time to challenge yourself more or create bigger goals. Know your limits physically and mentally and push yourself without risking any real harm. Hang out outside your comfort zone.
  10. Give yourself a pity party window. I understand things sometimes get downright tough. I like to give myself a two day window. One day to think and another day to recover. This happens a couple of times a year, max. Only when something serious occurs that really shakes up my world. Figure out what is reasonable for you and stick to it.

What big goals did I achieve in 2012? I ran my first half marathon five months after coming out of Rheumatoid Arthritis remission, bought a bike, completed a 150 mile bike ride over two days one month after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, was on two committees at The Arthritis Foundation San Diego Chapter, lived a life long dream of being a camp counselor, and started this blog. Yes, I’m blessed, but I worked extremely hard and I’m proud for all that I was able to accomplish in the face of adversity. Keep your eyes peeled and subscribe to my blog for some incredible changes to come that are meant to help you kick ass in 2013. If you have ideas for me, please share them in the comments below. Stay inspired and stay persistent.

Happy New Year.

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