I wrote you a poem

I wrote you a poem

To make music, you have to play

the pauses, not just the notes.

To achieve a goal or dream,

you have to do the same thing.

Give yourself moments to relax,

replenish, take a breath

before moving to the next task.

People who are successful long term

don’t allow themselves to burn out.

They know how to get shit done, and

they know how to recuperate and relax.

They know how to play the pauses,

along with the notes.

As you write your song

and make your music,

today and everyday,

let the rhythm inspire you to dance

a personal choreography of the soul.

This week,

this day,

this hour,

this moment,

be the essence of you in motion.

Get shit done AND pause.

Dance.

With ease,

pleasure,

energy,

power,

and faith.

Don’t worry about being graceful

or appealing.

Simply dance your dance.

Play the pauses along with the notes.

Big love, 

I help people SURPRISE themselves (read how) 

I help people SURPRISE themselves (read how) 

Have a dream that feels too big, too silly, or too out of reach to actually aspire to?

I’m going to tell you a joke that may not have you laughing, but it WILL help you take a big bold step on behalf of your dream life.  💜

First, let’s normalize dreams feeling too big or out of reach. That’s by design! They feel that way because they live outside of what’s familiar and predictable. Dreams, and their very presence in your heart, invite you to s-t-r-e-t-c-h and grow into them. For all these reasons, and more, it makes sense that your dreams may feel unrealistic.

BUT – just because a dream feels unrealistic, doesn’t mean that it is.

(read that last line again)

After more than 20 years of doing this work, one of the things I love most about it is helping people surprise themselves. I absolutely LOVE witnessing what may, at first, seem impossible or unrealistic become a living dream. (You know how football fans erupt with joy when their team scores a touchdown? This is my touchdown moment.) 

For it to happen though, we must start with the fundamentals: understanding what I affectionately call “the Cosmic Joke of Dream Realization.”

The Cosmic Joke of Dream Realization boils down to this: 

“What” comes before “how.”

.

.

.

HA? Are you laughing?

It’s not funny. But it IS powerful! 

Like the teacher who laughed as she shared her dream of having a beach house to spend her summers at, believing it was a ridiculous prospect, given her salary.

Three weeks later, she “coincidentally” met a woman who owned a beach house and wanted a summer in the city. They did a house swap. A win-win that she couldn’t have predicted.  

I know many stories like this.

Before “the How” will reveal itself to you, you must first declare “the What.”

This first brave step to creating your very own no-vacation-needed life is an act of faith and an invitation to let the very fact of your desire be evidence that it is possible. 

Yes, a plan of action is important, but that’s not where it starts!

Do NOT make the mistake of requiring a plan before staking a claim to your dream. 

Trust me, you do not want to be the butt of this joke!

So, let yourself want what you WANT – even and especially if you have no idea how to make it happen. Doing this will likely feel entirely counterintuitive since most people believe a plan is needed to justify their dream. 

Despite however counterintuitive it may feel, it is critical NOT to treat the desire to know how it will happen as a prerequisite for letting yourself just effing want it. 

When you tell yourself the truth about what you want, refuse fears about worthiness, defy commonly held beliefs about limitation, dismiss falsities about what you can’t do, and START, the path to creating what you want reveals itself – not the other way around.

Bravely go where you have never gone before.

Want to take this further? Download my Refreshingly Unconventional Goal Setting Guidebook to create real momentum on your dreams and goals.

Big love, 

“How can I create my dream life when I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT?”

“How can I create my dream life when I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT?”

“How can I create my dream life when I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT?”

I get asked this all the time. 

So today I’m going to show you exactly how to figure it out with a great 2-part hack that turns the volume UP on your deepest dreams and desires.

First, fun fact: Nobody knows better than you what you want. As the owner of your heart, you are the leading expert on the topic. 

👆 KNOW THIS. 

You may be unclear right now but, ultimately, nobody is going to know the truth of your desires better than YOU.

This said, you’re obviously going to be able to steer your life forward with far more confidence and conviction IF you are clear about where you want to go. So, decide that it’s time to get clear on what you truly and deeply want. 

Here’s the 2-part hack. 

Part 1: 

Create a great big long list of what you DON’T want. There is a wealth of clarity to be found when you get really honest about what you don’t want.

Questions to consider:

  • What are some of the immediate things that come to mind for you that you don’t want? 
  • What would you like to say “no” to? 
  • What are you tired of doing? 
  • What feels mis-aligned to you about your life, as it is, right now?

Examples might be everyday tasks like, “I don’t want to do laundry.” Or career related, like “I don’t want a 9-to-5 job.” They might be financial, like “I don’t want to stress over paying my bills,” or perhaps deeply personal like, “I don’t want to be in this marriage anymore.” 

Nothing is off limits. Whatever it is for you, write it down … anything and everything that isn’t aligned with your truest most beautiful vision for your life.

Part 2:

After you’ve made a great big long list of declarations about what you don’t want, flip each statement into the affirmative, letting your “don’t want” list inspire just as long a list of what you DO want.

From there, you can fine tune and strategize on next steps.

By starting with what you don’t want, you can unlock HUGE amounts of clarity about what you do want and start to clarify not only WHAT you want, but HOW to get it. 

Grab a free copy of my Refreshingly Unconventional Goal-Setting Guidebook to take this further and create REAL momentum on your dreams and goals. 

Big love, 

Are you making this goal setting mistake? 

Are you making this goal setting mistake? 

Today I want to pop in with a simple (but not always easy) goal-setting tip that can forever change a love-hate relationship with goals.

Which of these describes YOU best?

(A) I’m eager and enthusiastic when I set a goal, but once the initial motivation and enthusiasm subsides, I question. Maybe I didn’t really want it or it wasn’t realistic. So, I set a NEW goal, only to soon lose my mojo for that goal too.

(B) Goals feel like a constant reminder of what I haven’t achieved or might fail to achieve – so, to avoid risk of failure, I simply avoid goal-setting altogether.

(C) I do what it takes. I work hard and see my goals through but achieving them often isn’t nearly as gratifying as I thought it would be. Defeated and disappointed, I’ve wondered if this is all there is and question why I work so hard.

To help you make the most of the tip I’m going to give you, let me tell you a quick client story:

David, a client of mine, was a high-level bank executive who checked all the boxes of “success” – but was completely burnt out.

We decided to meet at a local cafe. He walked to my table, a clean-shaven man in a three-piece suit and shook my hand in a very formal way.

As we talked, David held onto his coffee cup like it was the only thing holding him up. He was weary, not just because his commute to his job was 90-minutes, one way, but because he had a secret. 

He hadn’t told his family how burnt out and unhappy he was. Because he didn’t want to let them down.

I asked him what he really wanted. 

He said, “I want to have more time with my family.” “I want to learn how to play the guitar.” And, then, sheepishly, David admitted, “I really want to grow my hair out.”

It was clear to me that the clean-shaven banker sitting in front of me was a free spirit, caged inside a pinstripe suit.

Whether you’re enthusiastic about goal-setting, or you avoid it… whether you do what it takes to achieve your goals, or you quit… a goal without a dream is a recipe for dissatisfaction. 

For the fulfillment of a goal to be truly satisfying, it needs to support what you TRULY want. 

Through our work together, David made the brave choice to tell the truth to his family. He told them how he felt and what he wanted and, as a family, they made some big shifts – to include him taking a pay cut and getting a new job, just 10 minutes from their house. 

He learned how to play the guitar.

And he grew out his hair. 💛

Any time you realize, as David did, that your goals aren’t aligned with your dreams, there’s the opportunity to dig deep and reorient toward what you actually want.

Do this honest assessment:

  • Are YOUR current goals on track with what you truly want? 
  • Do they support the realization of your deepest dreams and desires?

If not, it is time to reassess and determine what needs to shift so that they do.

The clearer you get on this now, the more likely you are to save yourself time, energy, and money in pursuit of goals that may fit cultural definitions of success or meet status quo expectations of others, but that YOU don’t really want.

My simple but not always easy goal setting tip for you today is this: 

When you set a goal, be sure you actually want it. 

Want to take this further and make today your “someday”? Grab a FREE copy of my Refreshingly Unconventional Goal Setting Guidebook to create REAL momentum on your dreams and goals.

Big love, 

Why your goals are out of reach

Did you know that Tuesdays are said to be the busiest, most productive workday of the week? (Do you hear the hamster wheel squealing?) 

If you feel caught on a hamster wheel in life and wonder if you should give up on your dreams, please don’t give up. 

Whatever it is that you’re wanting, I’m betting you know what needs to be done.

You set a goal

You make a plan to do what needs to be done

But what often happens is it quickly becomes a struggle to actually DO … all the while, your goals remain out of reach.

Am I right?

Without you realizing it, self-sabotage is often what KEEPS you on that hamster wheel.  

Give yourself the next 3 minutes and I’m going to share:

  • three ways to SPOT self-sabotaging thought patterns, and 
  • how to STOP them from slowing down your success

Self-sabotaging thoughts are false beliefs that you have unconsciously accepted as the laws of your life. They typically live undisturbed on a repeating thought-loop that, on a neurological level, becomes a pathway in your brain of well-tread trails. They are thoughts that aren’t helpful, that can become beliefs that only add to your struggle and strife. 

Said another way, it’s what I like to refer to simply as your brain on brules.

From my 20+ years of helping people not just dream but actually LIVE those dreams … in order to get off that hamster wheel, be on the lookout for these 3 Self-Sabotaging Thought Patterns:

  1. Black and white thinking  These include “always” and “never” thoughts like, “I’ll never succeed.” or “I always fail.” A really harmful form of black and white thinking is when an experience gets turned into an identity, a foundational and detrimental self-concept, like: “I am a failure.” Black and white thinking is an all-or-nothing perspective that leaves no room for nuance.
  2. Mind reading  Examples of this are “people will think” statements, like “If I don’t go to the party, people will think I’m rude,or “ If I go after what I want, people will think I’m selfish.”
  3. Fortune telling  Fortune telling assumes that the future is already known. An example of this might be: driving to an event and deciding in advance that the drive is going to be difficult and the event is going to suck. 🫤 (Fortune telling can actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy, focusing only on the things that confirm your thoughts.)

Learning to spot your own thought patterns is a powerful step in breaking them. In fact, spotting them IS a break in pattern because now you’re observing these thought-loops instead of living from them as if they are true. 

To spot the ”brules” in YOUR brain, do this simple journaling exercise:

  • Identify a circumstance you’re in the midst of and – with that circumstance in mind – write freely for 3 minutes. Spill your thoughts and feelings about it onto a page.
  • Re-read what you wrote to see if you can spot any of the 3 self-sabotaging thought patterns I shared above. 
  • Celebrate what you notice, knowing that noticing, alone, is a break in the old pattern. 

For bonus points, RE-WRITE any statements you’ve identified as self-sabotaging thought patterns and re-write the rules you accept as the laws of YOUR life

If you want to take this further, I’ve got a free Guidebook that you can download here where I help you bring goal-setting to life. 

Let’s make today your “someday.”

Time management for smarties

Time management for smarties

After a bit of a hiatus while focusing on some projects I have underway, I’m happy to be back and sharing TWO GIFTS to help you champion your goals and dreams – today!

  1. An applied psychology lesson in time management 
  2. A guidebook that walks you through exactly how to take it further

 

⭐ First, the lesson:

If you feel chronically overextended, like there’s never enough time or energy to make any REAL progress on your dreams and goals, that’s a clue that something deeper is going on. 

What you THINK is the problem, likely ISN’T. 

Here’s how to identify what’s REALLY holding you back:

In the therapy and coaching space, there’s what’s referred to as the “presenting problem.” The presenting problem is what exists on the CONSCIOUS level. It’s the problem that SEEMS to be what needs solving, that if you could just find a remedy for, you’d be free!

Or so you think.

Thing is, the presenting problem is rarely the real problem. What’s really holding you back is likely happening on an UNCONSCIOUS level. 

In other words, your brain and your habits are hiding the real problem from you.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Not having enough time or energy to make progress on my dreams and goals feels like a very real problem to me, Tara!”

I completely understand. 

As a coach and author with 20+ years of bringing the psychology of change to light in empowering and accessible ways, I know how frustrating it can be to feel like there’s never enough time or energy for your dreams.

Let’s demystify this hurdle with one strategy that you can apply right away: 

At the unconscious level, people often don’t actually want and aren’t actually eager for a solution to the “presenting problem” — even when they convincingly tell you that it’s something they very much WANT! And even when they recognize that it’s a chronic problem for them.

A client example comes to mind:

Despite her awareness and seemingly emphatic desire for a solution to being “chronically overextended” (← her words), she kept saying “yes” to things!  

“Yes” to that meeting…

And “Yes” to that friend…

“Yes” to that client…

“Yes” to her kids and driving them everywhere…

The countless time management books and trainings she invested in that claim to have the answer, haven’t solved the problem. And she’s painfully aware that she’s missing out on positive opportunities and experiences simply because she doesn’t have the bandwidth to act on them!

Nonetheless, the problem persisted.

Now let me ask you this: 

If she’s AWARE of the problem and eager for a solution, WHY would she keep saying “yes” and agreeing to too much for her capacity?!? (especially knowing she has other goals she wants to prioritize and work towards, like her health and her business)

On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense.

Here’s what’s really going on:

What’s really going on is … something about it SERVES her.  

This can be hard to accept at first.

To see this more clearly for yourself, when it comes to YOU not having enough time or energy to make any REAL progress on your dreams and goals, answer these 3 questions…

Each one nudges the unconscious to become conscious. 

(1) What do you get to AVOID doing, or having to be responsible for, BECAUSE you’re overextended? 

(2) Who do you get to BE in your overextended state? What self-concept does being overextended affirm for you?  For example: Do you get to be a generous person, a kind person, an important person? Does it provide opportunities to prove – to yourself or others – that you are good? 

(3) Who would you BE if you suddenly said “no” to doing the things that keep you feeling overextended? (This question is asking you to pinpoint what might happen if you change or start doing things differently. Who might you disappoint? And what do you believe this would mean about YOU?)

While answering ALL 3 questions helps you powerfully peel back the onion and go beyond “the presenting problem” to get to the heart of the REAL problem so you can find your way to a lasting solution … answering even just ONE can be immensely helpful. 

⭐ Download the Guidebook!

Ready to take this further with FREE immediate access to my 30-page “Refreshingly Unconventional Goal-Setting Guidebook” modeled after the work I do with my private clients to create real momentum on their dreams and goals? 

Click here for your copy!

Big love,