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This Question Will Change Your 2018

None of the transformation techniques I’d tried delivered the massive results of asking myself this one simple question

I have exciting news for you.

2018 will be the year when at least one of your biggest, boldest dreams will come true.

Close your eyes for a full minute and let that soak in.

How do you feel? Are you excited? Are you ready to have a year that good?

You’re sure?

I’m glad to hear it. Really glad, actually.

Believing in your dreams takes courage and heart. Not everyone is willing to go there. I applaud you, truly.

But there is one requirement.

I know. You saw it coming, even as you read the first sentence.

So here it is, the one, non-negotiable condition you must meet for 2018 to be THE year when your life changes in such exciting ways:

You must take positive action, each and everyday, toward your dream(s).

Even when you’re tired, disappointed and frustrated. Even when you “can’t” and don’t feel like it. Even when you feel defeated by rejection, loss, fear and shame.

Not every action has to be monumental, mind you. It’s the accumulation of smaller daily actions that often leads to lasting transformation.

That sounds simple enough, obvious even, but let’s be honest. Taking action of any kind is really hard to do when your doubt feels bigger and more grounded than any hope or dream you could possibly invest yourself in.

In fact, I’d guess that it’s that moment when your doubt feels like the truth that’s responsible for this statistic:

92% of Americans fail to achieve their new years goals, according to a University of Scranton study.

That’s a big number. A depressing number. A number deflating enough to make us think, Screw new years goals. What a joke!

It’s tempting, I know, but even after we abandon them, our dreams don’t die. They fester and rot inside us, turning us into hardened skeptics and distracted cynics. We live our lives, but never fully. We have some fun, we even laugh sometimes, yet rarely do we experience true joy. It’s no surprise, really. Ever since ditching our dreams, we’ve been settling, living a life apart from our heartfelt desires.

It’s no way to live.

I know because, like many, I spent far too many years stewing in my own unrealized dreams. Since childhood, I’d envisioned living an active, creative, outdoor-oriented life that I would share with a partner I loved, and who loved me. We’d be in fantastic physical shape and full of energy. For years I could see this dream coming true, feel it even, yet the keys to this magical wonderland continued to elude me.

As time passed, some of the pieces did fall into place, but never all at once, and always at what seemed like a snail’s pace. In my late 20s, when several friends were heading down the aisle, I was dating absolutely no one worthwhile. At 35 I was married to the man of my dreams, but so overwhelmed by our first years as entrepreneurs that words like “outdoor” and “creative” were laughable. Throughout all of these years, I suffered from insomnia and semi-chronic headaches that left me stumbling through my days in a dark and grumpy haze.

But then something happened.

One day in my early 40s, I realized that the one emotion that had so wholly controlled me — fear (of failing, of not being good enough, of not sleeping, the list is endless) — could become my greatest ally. That’s when I asked myself the one question that terrified and emboldened me like none other. It was this:

How will you feel — tomorrow, next month, decades from now, in your last moments in this body — if you bail on your dream?

My answer was immediate, undeniable.

I would feel ashamed and pathetic, knowing that I’d never even had the guts to try.

That’s when it hit me. Not trying was far more terrifying than trying and not succeeding.

I had spent years attempting to use any number of techniques for personal transformation — reading books, setting intentions, journaling, and much more. They all proved useful in their own ways, but hadn’t delivered the dream life I desired.

Once I stumbled upon THE question, however, my life began to change faster than it ever had before.

The fear I felt around not trying spurred me into action. I made workouts as non-negotiable as water, air and food. I discovered herbs that support my adrenal glands, and eventually had a huge impact on my body’s ability to handle stress. I also took a serious look at my sleep habits and mindfulness practices to determine what was working and what wasn’t. While I’d long been a fan of fresh produce, I stepped up my game by finding new ways to consume a wider variety of vegetables each day. I also got serious about expanding my writing career.

There was, of course, a fair amount of trial and error involved in each discovery process. Every time I felt disappointed, I asked myself the same question yet again — how will you feel if you give up now?

When I look at my life now, there’s no denying that I have more energy and am in better physical, mental and emotional shape at 46 than I was in my 20s or 30s. My husband and I now wake up each day in our dream home, which we had built (another dream of ours) on land filled with tall trees that lead to a creek where deer and other wildlife congregate. Each day we also reap the rewards, however imperfect, of our active, creative careers.

Witnessing these changes, I feel emboldened, yet still afraid. You see, now that this larger vision of my dream life has come true, I have even bigger, more daring dreams brewing inside me. Yet again, these dreams feel impossible and far — way too far — out of my reach.

So once again, I am leaping into a new year by asking myself the one question that has acted like rocket fuel for my yet-to-be-realized dreams:

How will you feel — tomorrow, next year, decades from now — if you bail on these dreams?

What dream(s) are you pushing aside? How will you feel if you never really go for it?

Let’s make 2018 the year when that book gets written, that business gets launched, when you open your heart and go for that huge dream (or two) that’s been knocking around in your subconscious.

Can you envision waking up to a life so amazing, you have to laugh when you realize it’s actually yours? Trust me, if I can do it, you can, too.