Swinging for the Fences
Ringing in the New Year has always had more sparkle for me than pretty much any other holiday because it’s a chance to ask for a do-over on my missed goals and add a few new inspiring ones to the list. Does anybody else love the idea as much as I do that the new year means sweeping last year’s epic fails under the rug, acknowledging all the amazing things we have accomplished this past year, and swinging for the fences with new aspirations.
Let me start by quickly sweeping last year’s epic fails under the rug. Save for a few of the tantrums I threw this year when my parents were visiting, my fails had more to do with being too afraid than doing things wrong. I’m going to take that as a sign a maturity. I’ve been too afraid to market my screenplay, frightened to write that book I promise myself every year, and way too scared to start the podcast I really want to get going. All this unfinished business is going right back on this New Year’s list, again.
The biggest accomplishment for me this year is learning NOT to to raise my voice. Living in a house full of little boys including my husband, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to to get a word in edgewise. Let’s be honest, I’m never going to be the loudest. And after a valiant effort in telling everyone what to do, and how to do it, with lousy results, I realized a better way to have an influence. This year, I discovered the incredible super power of not needing to be heard. Hear me out. It gives you so much leverage when you don’t NEED your kids to listen to you. When given a choice between not being able to play on the computer, enjoy the ice cream after dinner, or pretty much ever eat again, it’s amazing how homework prevails every time. When I NEED anything from them, they have leverage over me.
This year I’ve also picked up a lot of simple and powerful ways to quickly reframe situations for myself and my children to help us move out of a victim mentality and to steer us clear of exhausting power struggles. Most of my success I owe to a book I read called The Spiritual Laws of Money, by T. Harv Eker, which ironically didn’t have much of an impact on my finances, but made a huge difference in my parenting. Paraphrasing, he says that to make a little bit of money, you have to use a little bit of energy. To make a lot of money, you have to use a lot of energy. But the secret to getting the big results you want, is to not use all of your own energy. The key is to harness the energy of others by pulling the right levers. If I were to attempt to parent ten strong willed boys, okay, eleven with the husband, using up my own energy, it’s easy to see how quickly I would fail. So this year has been about getting a PhD in harnessing their energy by learning which levers to pull.
And finally, my idea of swinging for the fences with my 2018 goals are all about speaking up - not loudly, just effectively. Women are being called to show up with a bigger and more loving influence than ever before, and I want to be a part of it, in whatever way I can. Not only with blogging, podcasting, and keynote speaking, but particularly at home, where we have the biggest opportunity to influence.
Happy New Year, everyone!