It happens every year. We watch the big hopes and excitement of January 1st dwindle into the let down of January 31st. We were sure this year would be different. But somewhere along the way we face planted right off the side of that wagon.

Where did it happen for you?

Was it that one Wednesday morning when the alarm rang at the butt-crack of dawn and you hit snooze for the first time in 2015? Without realizing it you paved the way making it easier to hit snooze again the next morning, and the next. You did it again this morning.

Off the wagon again.

Was it that Friday night when everyone else was having Pizza and you decided you would have one itty bitty slice too. Hey, ain’t nothing wrong with that. But one slice turned to two, then three and you blew it, just like you knew you would.  Off the wagon again.

Or was it the flu, that snow day, that unexpected bill, or the sale at your favorite store that led to the pit of despair and let down of January 31st?

Hey you, listen to me … you’re not alone.

In fact, you’re in great company. The vast majority of folks have taken the tumble off the wagon too. Heck your fall was probably cushioned by the countless others who hit the ground before you. While you’re down there in that great company, I know what the temptation is. Throw a big ol’ “woah-is-me, life’s too hard, I’ll never make it,” pity party. Why do I know of this temptation? Oh because sister…

I’ve hosted the Pity Parties in past years.

Wallowing in the dust of your failed goals is the way of a ‘little life’ girl. If you’re the girl who wants to stay in the pit and look back on this year of life through the eyes of regret, wallow on. I have a few Pity Party decorations I can pass on to you because this girl won’t be using them this year. You see, I’m a BIG Lifer now … and so are you. We pick ourselves up, we dust ourselves off, and we get back on the wagon. (Que, ‘Eye of the Tiger’ music.)

“Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past – You must fight just to keep them alive”

Now’s the time to fight to keep those dreams alive. So BIG Life girl, back on your feet, you’ve still got some fight left in you. Eye of the Tiger. Rooooar!

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Step 1: Identify the pothole

Your pothole is what caused you to fall of the wagon. It’s your downfall, your soft spot, your weakness, your Achilles heel.
I grew up on a dirt road in the back woods of Southern Missouri. Going to “town” was an event and for my family it required all four of us to load up in the truck for the weekly outing. This was before the day of club cabs, crew cabs and SUVs. My assigned seating was right next to my Daddy and thus right next to the steering wheel. Daddy always let me steer on the dirt roads – oh, what a thrill it was.

Now on our dirt road there were potholes the size of a full grown milk cow. I had a grand ability to nail every pothole dead on with the front tire and the rear tire, sending all 4 of us bouncing to the roof of the truck cab. It wasn’t intentional. I could see the potholes ahead but I just couldn’t seem to navigate around them. I haven’t driven those dirt roads in years, but I’m quite certain those same potholes are there, haunting some other young driver’s navigation skills.
Today you and I have potholes along the path to the life we most want to live. Those potholes are disguised as harmless little choices and behaviors which knock us right off that wagon. Potholes … it’s where it first goes wrong. This insightful little poem by Portia Nelson illustrates how our potholes have kept us from reaching our goals in the past.

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost . . . I am helpless.
It isnt’ my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in . . . it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5
I walk down another street.

Here’s what a pothole looks like:

Pressing the snooze button when you know you need to get up and get going. Skipping breakfast and eating a cheeseburger for lunch. Letting the laundry pile up until it’s overwhelming. Those potholes rob us of our energy and confidence and cause us to face plant right off the wagon.
What does your pothole look like? It’s that first ‘little life’ choice away from our goals. Is it late night snacks, the snooze button, FaceBook or clearance racks? Is it the lure of later or tomorrow or the fact that no one will know? Identify the pothole. Where is it? What time do you encounter it? How does the pothole make you feel?
Your goal is to get healthy and fit this year by working out every morning.
The pothole is your snooze button.
It’s right beside your bed.
It is waiting for you every morning at 5:30 am while it’s still pitch freakin’ dark outside.
It makes you feel all warm and cozy when you hit it.
But later, after you’ve fallen in that pothole it makes you feel behind, rushed and regretful. You’re left with no time to do the things you need to do.

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Step 2: Take responsibility for the pothole

You may not have hand-dug the pothole that caused your fall from the wagon, but you’re the one at the wheel. Perhaps you’re like me when I was a young driver, and you have the uncanning ability to nail every pothole in the road with the front and rear tires. Every. Darn. Time. No one is making you hit the snooze. No one is forcing you to eat another bite. No one is chaining you to your cell phone. It is your fault. The pothole is your responsibility. You’ve fallen off the wagon because you steered right into the pothole.

Step 3: Avoid the pothole

You now know what your pothole is (the choice that caused you to fall off the wagon in the first place). You know where the pothole is, what time you encounter it, what it feels like and tastes like. You know it is your own steering that causes you to hit the pothole every time. So now, all that’s left to do is AVOID the pothole.
Your goal for the next month is to simply avoid the pothole that caused you to fall off the wagon in the first place.
If that’s the snooze button, then your single goal is to wake up on time and get your butt out of bed every day for the next week. Then do it again the following week. There are practical ways to steer around the pothole by placing your alarm across the room so you must physically get up to turn it off, or by having an accountability partner pester the heck out of you until you respond to their text at 5:30 every morning. Avoid the pothole, stay on the wagon!
If your goal is to lose 50 pounds this year and your pothole is late night snacking, then your single goal is to not eat after dinner every day for the next week. Then do it again the following week. Steer around the pothole by forbidding your entry into the kitchen after dinner. Wash the dishes, close the cabinets, and turn off the lights. Steer around the pothole by getting rid of all your favorite late night snacks. It’s pretty darn hard to munch on popcorn during American Idol if you don’t have any popcorn in the house. Avoid the pothole, stay on the wagon!

As a BIG Lifer, we learn from our failures as much as our successes.

We identify the pothole, we take responsibility for the pothole, and we avoid the pothole. However, it won’t shock the bejesus out of us when a few miles down the road to our goals we hit another pothole and we fall off the wagon again. Potholes will always be there. We will hit them on occassion. We will face plant. We will have another pothole to avoid.
As a young girl steering my Daddy’s truck along the dirt road, occasionally my Dad would grab the wheel moments before we nailed a pothole and save us all from whiplash. Consider this your moment of saving grace, an experienced driver taking the wheel for a moment. The snooze button, the pizza, the countless unproductive hours on FaceBook will not lead you to the life you want to live. They are the potholes on your journey to your goals. Take a hard right. And watch out, there’s another pothole just ahead.

We’re recorded a FREE live broadcast on Saturday, January 31st showing you how to identify your pothole, climb out of it, and get yourself back on the wagon to the life you want in 2015. It’s BIG Life Goal Setting ~ Take 2. It’s not too late!

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I Want Back On That Wagon!

In this exclusive broadcast recorded LIVE, I personally teach you how to climb out of the pit and get back on that wagon to live the life you want. I'ts BIG Life Goal Setting (Take 2). Now if you're into wallowing in the dust of your failed goals, this isn't for you. If you're ready to dust yourself off and get on with your BIG Life, well ba bam ... this is it!
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