Next Steps for the New Year


Hello Amazing Humans!

I am just back from living away from home for 26 nights due to the Thomas Fire in California.  There were many lessons learned and lots of growth throughout the process. I’m so grateful to the firefighters and first responders who defended our town from the worst fire in our state’s history.

Today we start a new year and let’s face it: this past year has been a trip globally, locally and for many, personally. On my end, we lost family members, we almost lost a matriarch, I experienced health issues and we evacuated. On the positive side, our house is still standing, we went to Italy to research book 2 of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderónand I’m 80% finished with the sequel.  I launched another business helping people to make their visions real. My husband continues on the beautiful path of his true purpose of working with kids, and through a blessing by our hosts up north during the evacuation, will train with an amazing global organization called Kidpower. My son raised the most funds for his school’s jog-a-thon (more than $1,600) and won a Chromebook.

There’s a light side and dark side to everything.  Let’s talk about how to bring in and create more light in 2018.

  1. Cultivate Joy.  Sounds easy and also hard. Here’s how you do it–even when depressed or ill. Give gratitude for 1-3 things every day. Speak the gratitude and write it somewhere. Text someone, add it to social or write it in a journal or on a post-it note or napkin. It does not have to be the same way every day. Just once a day–even for the seemingly tiniest things like access to clean water, the breath in your lungs or the taste of your favorite food.
  2. Connect in Person. I have set an intention to connect in person with specific people in 2018. Look at your calendar and make time for the people who light you up. And if you can’t see them in person, try Zoom which is free if both of you can get Internet access at the same time.
  3. Choose health. How often do you move your body and get your heart rate up? What are your choosing to eat? My approach this year is simple: 45 minutes of exercise, four times per week, plus the 80-20 rule when it comes to eating.  80% of the time eat clean whole foods and 20% of the time, cinnamon rolls, baby.  Also, I experimented with avoiding my trigger foods during November and December which includes all members of the carbohydrate crunchy salty family plus my not-so-secret love: cheese. I’m avoiding both for the next 9 months or so, but not eliminating them since eliminating things with my personality feels like an encroachment on my freedom which is a recipe for rebellion and over-indulgence. I’ve also decided to find a great doctor in my community.
  4. Get dressed. I learned from a brilliant stylist (and dear friend) named Morocco B. Assouline, that clothes are like art. We can make a statement and get creative every single time we get dressed. This year, after working from home in sweatpants (yes, I know how lucky I am), it’s time to stay comfy and feel beautiful at the same time.
  5. Put your money first. It’s so easy not to look at your finances honestly. Schedule quarterly meetings with yourself or your partner to assess where you are financially and where you want to go. Then brainstorm about how you want to get there by putting some practices in place.
  6. Learn something new once a month or every other month. It may be that you simply read a book, sign up for an online course, take a free tutorial on YouTube, use the free DuoLingo app to learn a new language or take an in-person class. I plan to improve my left handed layup, get back to kickboxing and learn more about foraging for edible plants among other fun activities.
  7. Figure out how you want to feel and focus on that every single day. I’ve shared Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and Core Desired Feelings approach many times on this blog. I’m thrilled to try her day planner again this year. (It’s on sale with the code MANIFEST18.) Basically, I’ve used her graphic maker to remind myself on my computer, phone and in print format–exactly how I want to feel every day. I’ve done this for several years and I know that it works to support your goals rather than leading with your goals first. It’s remarkable to work toward something when you’re heart is actually in it.
  8. #BelikeMollyandPeter. Most of this advice applies whether you are single or in a couple.Yesterday I met Molly and Peter at church when I sat next to them in the front row. I noticed that at one point during the Gospel when we stand and look toward the center of the church, that they were nestling and embracing like they were on a movie date. I thought, wow, I hope I’m like that with my husband when I’ve been married that long. After the service, I commented on this to both of them. Here’s the lowdown on what I learned from this couple who is about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary: They follow the 3 R’s which they learned long ago in a service.

RESPECT--no “yes, dears” because that’s not respectful. Fully see and hear the person. For all of us as individuals, I say that means the same for self-respect. Choose that inner self talk that is kind and respectful–not punishingly critical.

RELIGION–wait, don’t leave yet if you run at the thought of organized religion because it’s not just about that.  It’s about believing in someone or something greater than yourself.  For some of my friends, that quite simply connects to nature. When they hike or even stick their hands in some dirt to re-pot a plant, they calm all their cells down and realize they are simply part of a larger master plan. Pete talked about this as the glue.  My husband will prefer hiking the mountain over going to church any day–but we have the faith that we are being divinely led on a magical, mystical, kick-a** path if only we show up and do our part. That’s our glue even if  he is not sitting in the pew with me and my son. For more explorations and models of faith, check out my posts on Faith, Boredom and Desire or Wine, Women and Divine Noticing.

ROMANCE–wait if you are single because I was single until my mid-30s and I chose a romance with my single life–an INTENSE AND AMAZING FREEDOM to create spontaneous experiences on my own or with friends. That could be a wine and cheese gathering, a fantastic binge-watch in pjs or a biking adventure in the woods. And for those with a partner, I will tell you that I’m all up in this intention because it’s too easy to let life take over and forget, what Molly and Peter told me they did at the end of the day when they wouldn’t see each other – the ten-second kiss. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Mystery dates and mystery trips are also key. You can do that alone or with a best friend too!

I’ll admit that I squished extra points into #8, but I’m stopping at my lucky number because it’s auspicious and that’s plenty for a stellar year.

I hope these simple next steps help you to create the amazing year you want. If you want help crystallizing your vision and creating a plan to support it, I invite you to check out this page on my blog.

Choose to make magic every single day.

#cucalacas + love,



12 thoughts on “Next Steps for the New Year

  1. Happy New Year Rebecca!

    You most certainly did inspire me with this post— I absolutely loved it— thank you!

    I am so grateful to have your beautiful presence in my life. I am also so glad to hear you are now home, safe and sound.

    Warmest, Lola


  2. Happy New Year!! I shared a bottle of a great Italian wine at a friends house today and thought of you. Tom & Betty


  3. Thank you for the magical sprinkles of light! My heart is smiling and moved by your thoughtful and uplifting words. Your energy and work is a gift and welcomed catalyst for positivity. Me encanta! Thank you for sharing. Salud Amiga!

  4. Dearest Rebecca,
    Sooo happy to hear of your return home. You have SO been in my thoughts and prayers … what a difficult time you’ve endured. Dana and I have been holding you and your family close during these horrific fires …
    But resilient soul that you are, you gave us all a beautiful beginning to the new year. All of your tips and guidance were so appreciated and SO relevant. You always seem to know just what to say to lift the spirits of those around you … I feel so blessed to be one of them. xo
    Love you and am so grateful for you. This is finally our 18 year, my sister … let’s rock it to the sky!!!

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