Just One Thing

This article also appears on the Huffington Post.

Hope is the sparkPerhaps you’re like me. It’s mid-January, you’ve made big plans and set sincere intentions for this bright, shiny new year and . . . you’re stuck. It’s like you’re in a hole and you can’t find your way out. Any spark of action or glimmer of hope is lacking and you find yourself overwhelmed by the day-to-day needs of your life, unable to start even one change.

That thought is what brought me here today: “start with one change.” What if I changed just one thing today?

This is the idea behind what the founders of Simple Green Smoothies did. Unhealthy, broke, de-energized, and not sure where to go next, Jadah decided to change just one thing. She decided to have a green smoothie every day. With that change, she started losing weight and had more energy; then she started working out and the momentum continued to grow. She changed one thing and the rest followed.

So I started to think of the 10s or 100s of things I’d like to change, what is one thing I can do to get to “better”? What is one thing that can help me out of the hole and lead me toward hope?

The first thing that came to mind was going for a lunchtime walk each day. For my project management work, my office is located two blocks from Lake Michigan. Can I steal away for 20-30 minutes each day to connect with a little nature and gently move my body? Can I do this one thing every day for a week?

Will there be barriers and excuses? Oh, yes. An overly packed meeting schedule is sure to be a hurdle. What if I put it on my calendar to make sure it’s prioritized? Will the weather be cold and nasty? Hey, this is Chicago, you can guarantee it will be. But I commute by public transit so I already have all my gear with me. I can handle the weather.

Then my mind chimed in some more: But, wait. Does this make sense? How does this get you any closer to those lofty and important goals and intentions of the new year?

Honestly, I have no idea, but I stopped the analysis. It’s just one thing. It is a change. It breaks a pattern. It facilitates a shift. It changes a behavior of overwork, under-thinking, and under-breathing.

Perhaps it will be the spark that leads to something else. Perhaps it will provide me with the mental space to make a bigger change. I’m not sure, but it’s just one thing, that I’ll do for one week.

Will you join me? What’s your Just One Thing that you’ll do for a week to ignite a spark in your heart? Let us know in the comments below.


~Wishing for you the spark that lights up your heart with hope.

Happy New Year! Happy Resolution Setting!

It’s the eve of New Year’s Eve and like many others, I take this as a time of reflection on the past year and to strengthen my resolve for the new year. For me, resolutions are absolutely essential for focusing my energy and achieving the results that I desire. Without writing down resolutions, I often lack focus. Though things don’t always work out in the way I hope or at the exact time I planned, they are more likely to be achieved if I’ve taken these five essential steps:

  1. Reflect
  2. Align
  3. Write
  4. Share
  5. Act

The process goes like this: I reflect on what I’ve achieved and what I want to achieve. As you do this, remember to take credit for what you did well in 2014 and be thankful to others. Spend sometime in a reflective state of gratitude and get specific about the wonderful things that make up the gratitude that you feel. Remember the times of connection with others in 2014 and acknowledge the flow and change that is a constant in our lives. Then look ahead — what do you want to acheive in 2015? I try not to over-think this step and instead let my intuition lead me to the juiciest goals.

Then I utilize Reiki, relaxation, and visualization to see if these desires align with my values. I do this by imagining what I would look like, how I would feel, and what I would say to others when I achieve my desired result. (Sherold Barr has a lovely approach to this where you imagine yourself at the end result and write from that perspective.)

The third step is to write out my resolutions for the new year. Ideally, this gets very detailed with a breakdown of steps to take, timelines for each step, and a list of kindred spirits who will help me along the way. Scott Dinsmore has a great tool for going through the writing step. It may take some time to do this, but it is very worthwhile.

Thanks to Scott and others I have been tapping into the power of sharing my goals. As with any intention setting, it is like setting the intention an additional time. You’ve thought it, you’ve written it, and now you’ve spoken it. Plus, you’ve ideally shared it with a kindred spirit who will hold up your goal and help you to achieve it. Sometimes that help comes in the simplest form by listening, repeating, or an understanding nod. However, this support is absolutely essential for the healthy life of connected beings.

Then it’s time to act. I make sure that there are some tasks that I can start on right away. In addition, I mindfully review my timelines to make sure I’m not putting off too far in the future tasks that I perceive as difficult, weighty, or anxiety-producing. Those tasks need to be broken down and worked on “as soon as possible” otherwise they will wait for a lifetime. If they are aligned with your true self and your ideal goals, then there is no concern that they are the “wrong” ones, it just might be that they are the most life changing and therefore need to be bumped up in priority. Also, this process is ideally done in a circular fashion, that is, I need to periodically (usually monthly) check-in on my progress and my alignment throughout the year.

I’d love to hear what you have in mind (and heart!) for the new year. Please share your resolutions in the comments below.

My resolutions include some new offerings in 2015, including:

  • An online tool to request distance Reiki
  • Grief coaching + Reiki
  • Lots of writing and teaching, including an e-book, plus a larger book project
  • An offline support group for those who have experienced pregnancy loss
  • and more!


party glasses