Take a leap . . .


 . . . of faith – in yourself!


Happy Leap Day! Today is a great time to take stock of where you have been and where you are going.

Here are 11 Leap Year questions to ask yourself in the next 11 minutes – think fast.

1. What were you doing around this time in 2008? (Take a minute to remember . . . )

2. What are you most proud of over the last four years? (Congratulations, job well done!)

3. What else has been working well for you? (Make a list, everything counts. And, kudos to you!)

4. What would you like more of? (First thought that popped into your head is a keeper!)

5. What can you do to bring it into your life? (Again, first thoughts are worth listening to.)

6. Is there anything you’d like to change? (If your response is “Not a thing, I’m absolutely happy.” Give yourself and everyone you love a great big hug!)

7. If there is something you would like to change, what can you do –  right now TODAY – to take a  leap in the right direction? 

8. Do you need to start a new path?

9. Redirect an old one?

10. Turn around, go back, and tie up loose ends?

11. Pause, reflect, relax and regenerate?

I believe that where there is a wish there is a way. Faith in yourself might be the best leap you can take in 2012, and will go a long way to helping you create the life you really want. I want you to be jumping for joy throughout the year.

 PS I’d love for you to spend more time on the Wishful Thinking Works site, but now is a good time to get-up and walk away from your computer to get started on what’s next for you. I suggest beginning with a quick leap in the air. No matter how small your leap is, it can bring a smile to your face and is a great way to celebrate you and the changes you’ve made or are going to make. (Go ahead, I just did it, now it’s your turn!)

Wishful Thinking Ways # 9

I love this week’s Wishful Thinking Ways, and hope you will, too. This week you are going to create a story about your life – the life you really want.

You are going to use your courage and creativity to write an absolutely amazing tale – the blockbusting, 3-D version of your life.

The goal of this activity is to put all of your work over the past 8 weeks on paper in a whole new way. It doesn’t matter if your story is perfect, if you change it in two hours or two weeks or two years, it only matters that you have the courage to create the life you really want on paper, right now. (FYI- I  hope this becomes a habit for you and you write many life stories in the weeks, months and years ahead.)

Quick Time Out

Does the mere thought of this exercise cause you stress? If not, proceed directly to the “Back to Work” section. If so, does it worry you because . . .

You hate to write? Someone might see it? The sky will fall? You will have to do it if you put it on paper? It is too silly for words? You don’t feel right about wanting something new or different from what you have? You’ve already tried. You have no right to want what you want? Wanting what you want is just too scary? You won’t be able to kid yourself anymore about what you want? You have kids, no money, no education, or you have a husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend, mother, father, grandmother, boss, friends – who won’t understand, think you are nuts, stand in your way . . .

The “List of Becauses” is endless, and thinking about it makes you human and very normal, but here’s the thing – lots of normal human beings are doing what makes them happy, and they are thriving. It is okay to want to change, to make changes, and to live your life the way you want. Honestly. And, remember, what you want does not have to be blockbusting stuff, it only has to feel that way to you.

If you are still feeling a bit tense, check your physiological tells, and then try this. Get-up and run in place for a few seconds; do jumping jacks; stretch your arms; clap your hands – do something fast and physical to signal your body you know it is tense and you care. Movement can work wonders in times of stress. Finish with a full body shimmy or shake and then sit back down and put all that released energy to work in your life story!

Back to Work

Ready? Great. Begin by reviewing your Wishful Thinking Ways exercises from the past 4 weeks. Use them as inspiration and guidance, or let your life story take on a whole new direction. It’s completely up to you. (If you are new to Wishful Thinkings Ways, start here.)

  1. You can write your future as a news story, by starting with who, what, when, where.
  2. You can use a headline, title of a book or “Once upon a time . . .”
  3. Another good way to get started is to read a success story about someone else, and use it as a template for your story. (You can use these as a start, but don’t get so distracted, you forget to write your story!)
  4. For a heartwarming version, write your story Chicken Soup style, as though you are looking back with wonder and thanks on the life you created.
  5. If celebrity is your game, write it People, In Touch or LifeStyle mode. (I’m guessing you might want to skip any tabloid versions . . .)
  6. Or go web-based with a Huffington Post-type entry.
  7. You can create a video, too.
  8. Pen a country song – as long as you make it happy.
  9. Outline the movie of your dreams – starring you!
  10. Write a poem or a Declaration of Independence, “When in the course of . . . “

The story, style and method is up to you. Have fun and just do it! 

And, thank you for caring enough to give yourself the very best – the life you really want.

Instead of either/or, again

This is a repost from a year ago; it’s worked its way back into the line-up because of a question recently posed to me.

Do you have a hard time making decisions? When faced with two equally positive or negative options have you ever felt stuck?

Most of us at sometime in our lives have been paralyzed by the thought of having to choose between door one or door two. Here’s an idea that might help:

“Instead of either/or, add one more.”

Huh? I know it sounds odd, and is counterintuitive, but it works . . .

Instead of either/or, add one more.

The idea is not mine, but turning it into a cute little rhyme is. (And, as silly as the rhyme sounds, it’s more memorable, and I think it’s a line worth remembering.)

Instead of either/or, add one more.

Picture this, you’ve inherited a huge sum of money, never have to work again, and have been house hunting for months. You finally found two homes you love, and although they are very different each offers you a lifestyle you’ve dreamed about. You can’t decide whether to go with the brownstone in Manhattan or the rambling ranch on a mountain in Colorado and rich as you are, you can’t afford both.

Or, you have two great job options, life coach in Florida or actress in Hollywood – naw, that one is way too easy, I’d choose being a life coach, anywhere! But, I digress.

A while back, I read brothers Chip and Dan Heath’s book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die”, and their comments about the paradoxes of how we make decisions led me to come up with my little ditty:

Instead of either/or, add one more.

The decision-making research they cited reveals the value of adding one more choice to an either/or mix. Adding “one more”, helps us prioritize, which makes it easier for us to recognize what we truly prefer. We tend to think that by making things black or white, or narrowing down our choices to just two – this or that, we are making things easier on ourselves, but the opposite may be true. It appears that it’s easier for us to choose when we look at and compare three options rather than two.

Expanding on my earlier example . . . brownstone in Manhattan, rambling ranch in Colorado, or beach house in Florida? Did the picture get any clearer for you? It did for me.

  • Manhattan/Colorado/Florida
  • City life/country life/beach bum

Comparing three options rather than two, changes the way we think, and may lead us to faster and less regrettable decisions. (It’s easy to spend our lives regretting either/or decisions; I think comparing three options reduces the drama, which may in turn reduce lingering regrets.)

So, what would you choose, brownstone, ranch, beach house? There are no wrong answers – don’t over think it – pick the one that appeals most to you and go from there.

Try applying the rhyme this week. It works well on big or little stuff.

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WTW Dandelion

Wishful Thinking Ways #8



Wow, so excited. This is our 8th Wishful Thinking Ways week, and the perfect time to get your ducks in a row! Week 8 is chockfull of great ideas and activities. I hope you are having as much fun as I am doing the exercises. (If you haven’t started, click here.) I complete each exercise before I post it, and then I redo the exercise before I start writing my next post. Why? Well, for 8 great Wishful Thinking Ways reasons: 

  1. I never ask readers or clients to do something I haven’t done.
  2. I’ve been there and know that doing the exercises make a difference.
  3. I like the exercises, at least once I get started. . .
  4. The exercise always lead me to new insights about myself.
  5. Gaining insight about myself makes me feel good.
  6. I like feeling good and feeling good is good for me.
  7. When I feel good it’s easier to make the changes necessary to create the life I really want.
  8. Creating the life I really want, is what I really want! (If you start to question if what you want is possible or if you have the right to want it – hold that thought and pay attention to your physiological tells – then write a sentence or two about what you are thinking and label your feelings. See Wishful Thinking Ways #3 & #4 for details.)

Oh, and before we go on, I want to make sure that you understand that creating the life you really want doesn’t mean you have to climb the highest mountain or swim the deepest sea, but it could. It doesn’t mean you have to become an entrepreneur, a millionaire or an American Idol, but it could. Change is in the eye of the beholder, and I want you to learn to trust your vision. And, that’s what we are working on, creating the vision of how you want your life to be.

So take out your drawing paper and colored pencils or markers, and take a quick look at your drawings from Wishful Thinking Ways week 7 and the answers to the questions from Wishful Thinking Ways week 6.  

Which question, answer or drawing did you notice first? Use it to create a Mind Map. Start by redrawing it in the center of a new, large, good quality piece of paper. If you are not in the mood to draw, use a word or symbol to represent it. Click here for a sample page you can use.

Now using your colored pencils or markers start writing down any ideas or thoughts that come to mind on the same page. Don’t censor yourself, just keep writing or drawing your ideas, thoughts and words. If you find yourself thinking or drawing negative responses  – no problem just stop for a second and verbalize a statement around your thought: “I didn’t realize I was still scared/worried/jealous/angry/sad, etc. about _____________. And, then continue drawing and writing. (The goal is not to let our fears or concerns distract us. If we do, it will delay or discard the possibility of change. Be brave, I know you can do it.)

Change takes change. So if you find this exercise difficult or uncomfortable, do it any way. It’s good practice for all the other things that might make you uncomfortable along your change path.

Do a new Mind Map everyday, or use one of the other Wishful Thinking Ways worksheets to explore more of your ideas and thoughts. (EX: What excites me or makes my heart sing? Be specific. When am I happiest? Why? When am I at my best at work or at home? What am I doing when I lose myself in the task?  What are my strengths, how do I use them? What have I wanted to do since I was a kid?)

Later this week, I would also like you to complete the exercise outlined in this post and complete Your Tower of Strengths worksheet mentioned in the post.

Yes, week #8 is filled with activities, but that’s good because the activities are a form of action and change takes action!

Thanks for making time for change in your life. If you have any questions or thoughts about this week’s exercises please let me know in Comments or email me at wishfulthinkingworks@gmail.com

Have a great weekend.

Special ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentines’ Day. Here are 5 simple and calorie-free ways to enhance your Valentine’s Day!

1. Be valiant – do something courageous for yourself or someone else today. Take a risk in the direction of your dreams, or help someone in the quest toward theirs.

 2. Be creative – Americans will spend $17.6 billion celebrating Valentine’s Day – after spending your fair share find a way to let someone know you care without spending a single penny. Pause to say “I love you” and really mean it. Spend extra time with an older relative or friend or someone, who could use a helping hand.

 3. Get wordy – Take time to write or tell someone – exactly what they mean to you, to thank them for what they bring to your life.

 4. Leave a legacy – Get in the habit of making a Valentine’s Day donation to your favorite charity or create another special helping tradition.

 5. Give the gift of being heard – Really listen to folks today – pay attention to the tales they tell, the celebrations they share, the requests they make. Include eye contact and tie it up in a big verbal bow – by asking questions. Make it all about them, not you.

I guarantee doing one or all of these will make your heart happy in a special way today!

Wishful Thinking Ways #7



Let’s start today by talking about change. Change is about transformation. It’s about making something different from what it was. At Wishful Thinking Works the changes we seek relate to our lives; how we see and live them; what we choose to do and who we choose to do it with.

Some Wishful Thinkers are seeking dramatic changes – they want to overhaul their lives. Others just want a tune-up. Still others have no clue what they want – and that’s okay. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of change Wishful Thinking Ways can be helpful to you.

If you do the work, the answers will come!



You’ve already showed your commitment by returning to Wishful Thinking Ways for 7 weeks. Congratulations! Commitment is what keeps us going when the going gets tough, and that’s what leads to success. Now we want to discover and develop your passion. (If you are new this week, start here!)



I think of “passion” in two ways:

  1. What you choose to do with your life – your passion. “My passion in life is  __________________.”
  2. How you feel about your life or the changes you are making. “I’m passionate and excited about improving/changing/discovering/learning _______________________.”

This week’s assignment is designed to help you discover and develop your passions, and it too is two-part. If you did not complete last week’s exercise, please do so now and then put it aside for 3-4 days. Also make sure you have or have purchased good quality, large drawing paper and colored pencils, markers, crayons or paints.

Part I

  1. If you’ve been keeping up with the exercises, you should have already answered these questions.
  2. Please re-answer them now without looking back at your previous answers.
  3. Make sure you complete the last part of the exercise.
  4. Now, using the large drawing paper and the pencils, markers, paints, etc. create a visual representation of your new”Why” answers.
  5. Be creative. The goal of this exercise is to doodle and draw your way to insights.
  6. Make more than one drawing if you want to, let the drawings lead you to new ideas and new drawings.
  7. Don’t worry about your drawing skills or art ability – use symbols and words if you are not comfortable drawing.
  8. When you’re done with your drawings, go back and compare this week’s and last week’s answers.
  9. Make a new drawing of any answers that appeal to you in any way.

Part II

This section can been done immediately following or days after Part I.

  1. Draw how you would like your life to look. (Remember you can use words and symbols, if you are uncomfortable drawing.)
  2. Include everything in your drawing that you want in your future. 
  3. If you want a new job, to find the love of your life, to write a book,  take a vacation or to be skinnier, kinder, richer, happier, etc. make sure your drawing includes details about it. Be creative!  
  4. Do not censor yourself. Do not worry if these things are possible or probable, just draw what you want in your life.

Please do not skip this week’s exercise. Wishful Thinking Works workshop participants and clients have found it uber-helpful and have let me know months and years later that they still have their drawings and are amazed how many of the dreams and details they drew have come to life. The key is to use the drawings to start visualizing and formalizing your dreams and goals.

Final tips:

  1. Have fun; don’t judge your ideas or your art skills, just go with it.
  2. Use large, good quality paper and colored drawing tools! (Too small a paper limits your thoughts, plain paper makes you less likely to value and save your drawings, and using color and different mediums enhances your ability to capture and communicate your thoughts and dreams – and, that is what Wishful Thinking Ways is all about!)
  3. If you find yourself aimlessly or even intentionally searching the web this week, spending too much time on Facebook, standing in front of the frig or sitting in front of the TV, STOP!  Instead, get out your drawing paper and colored whatever, and start drawing what changes you would like to see in yourself or in your life or draw the things you love or appreciate in your life now.

And, save some paper and pencils for next week’s Wishful Thinking Ways #8!

Wishful Thinking Ways #6


Wishful Thinking Ways questions to go!

Okay, today we are getting started on discovering our dreams. Start by getting some paper and a pen. Go with your first answers. Get comfy. Make sure you have whatever you need to keep you happy and focused for 10-20 minutes. (If you would like a printable page, click here.)

Answer the following questions – remember go with your first answers. (No one other than you ever has to see your answers, so relax and enjoy.)

  1. Time of day you feel most comfortable?
  2. Favorite food(s)? Why?
  3. Food(s)you love to make? Why?
  4. Favorite color(s).
  5. Place(s) you liked to hang out in your neighborhood or yard as a kid. What were you doing?
  6. Board or card game you enjoyed playing as a kid.
  7. Favorite book(s) as a kid.
  8. Favorite holiday.
  9. Favorite holiday tradition(s).
  10. Sister or brother you have the most fun with?
  11. Favorite relative(s)?
  12. Best teacher(s)?
  13. Favorite car. How did you get it?
  14. First job?
  15. You usually go to sleep around ________ p.m. and wake-up at _________a.m.
  16. Favorite vacation as a kid. As an adult. what made them great?
  17. Favorite childhood friend?
  18. Favorite meal as a kid? Why?
  19. Names of kids you hung out with when you were 7-11 years old?
  20. The first two things you would do if you won the lottery?
  21. Favorite room in your house now? Why?
  22. Favorite piece of furniture?
  23. What are you most proud of? Why?
  24. Favorite room(s) in your house as a kid?
  25. Favorite piece of clothing(s) now? Why?
  26. Best job you ever had. Why?
  27. Your hero or an important mentor. Why?
  28. What did you love to do or play outside as a kid?
  29. Favorite clothes or outfit as a kid?
  30. Funny memory that always makes you laugh?
  31. Best memory with your kids?
  32. Favorite movie? Why?
  33. Favorite TV show? Why?
  34. Favorite movie scene(s)?
  35. Favorite TV show scene(s). Why?
  36. Favorite pet(s)?
  37. Favorite childhood memory(ies)? Why are these memories important to you?
  38. Describe where you’d like to go on vacation if money was no object. What would you be doing?
  39. If money was no object, where would you like to live? Why?
  40. If failing was impossible what would you do?

Now review your “Why” answers and use them to fill in the following blanks. I want my life to have lots of  _______________, ________________, ___________________, _________________ and ____________________with _______________________________! Your sentence may not make perfect sense, but it will give you insight to what you enjoy and care about – and may have forgot!  

My Wishful Thinking Ways sentence reads: I want my life to have lots of spicy, comfy, fun, interesting challenges and touching times with people I care about outdoors!  Now, figure out one thing could you do this weekend to make sure you get some of the things you listed, and do it!

Have a great weekend.

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