Your Favorite Chapter Challenge

A new year is here, and we have this beautiful moment where we look back and forward at the same time. I get so excited about a new year because its like getting a blank canvas to fill! How will I fill it differently? What do I want it to look like?

I think all of us want 2017 to be better than 2016. I believe it can be… for all of us!

I recently began running again. Now picture in your head a woman who has not exercised much in the past 25 years, and not necessarily the most graceful either. I put on my running gear first thing in the morning and start giving myself a pep talk. My dog delivers the best encouragement of all. I put her on her leash, open the door, and she takes off like a 60 pound rocket dragging me behind with my clumsy feet just trying to keep up! She’s using every muscle in her body to propel us forward and I swear it looks like she is grinning ear to ear! Its maybe 20 degrees out and the cold hits my face like jumping into an ice cold swimming pool! My eyes water, my nose runs, lungs heaving, heart pounding and Kasey the wonder dog is in pure Heaven! And something strikes me as the endorphins begin to surge and adrenaline is running full throttle, this is AMAZING! I’m more awake, the freezing cold is like my own personal coach cheering me on that “Life is Truly a Gift and it is EXHILARATING!” What would it be like to live with this feeling everyday? Life on full throttle! And to think I might have missed it… I might have rolled over and gone back to sleep. Which is what I have done for maybe 25 years. Not anymore. I want to live! (thank you, George Bailey!) I want to dream and discover and explore this world! I want to meet new people and try new things and inspire others and have a whole lot of  FUN doing it!

You do not have to be a prisoner of your past.  You don’t have to be held hostage to the idea that life is now set in its course for you and you can do nothing to change it. I’m here to tell you that there are things you can do to bust free from the mold and start shaping a life you truly love! Believe it! If you are sucking air on this planet, there is hope for a bright future! I’m learning this myself real time as I break free from my own shackles!

So what does making a better 2017 look like? Each of us has our own version of that story. But one thing is certain, we can make it better! And you know what? You are worth it! Its kind of hard to be everything to everyone when you are running on fumes yourself. So lets take some inventory and make plans to fill you up with new dreams, new hope and a very beautiful bright future! 

Lets start with some tangible goals we can make…  we’ll call it “You’re Favorite Chapter Challenge” and our first goal line will be the first day of Spring, March 20, 2017.

What might that entail? For some of us it may mean “I need friends” or “a whole new outlook on life” or “I have to start taking better care of myself” (boy I can relate to this one!) Please know you and every person on this planet are worth investing in. If you are beating yourself up over past mistakes, its time to extend some grace to yourself. This is a new day! And you are moving in a forward trajectory!  Ask yourself what are some things you want to change.

  • To energize and update your wardrobe?
  • To meet new people and make new friends?
  • To eat more banana splits? (this idea came from my cousin Beth when I was about 20 years old, and I’ve always thought, “That is an AWESOME resolution!”)
  • To pursue a new direction with your education or simply take it further?
  • To reach an exercise daily or weekly goal?
  • To clean all your closets?
  • To read more?
  • To volunteer in some way, whether its short like an evening at a soup kitchen, or a bigger commitment like weekly or monthly with a group or even committing to a mission trip?
  • To drink more water, eat healthier and feel better?
  • To drop a habit you no longer want in your life?
  • To plan out an amazing weekend or activity with friends or family? (Yes!!!)
  • To travel?
  • To take a bold step in your career? 
  • That dream you’ve had, that “Someday I want to…” to actually start to put it in play?
  • To make more time for your parents or other family?
  • To try something totally new and have a blast doing it? (BAM!!)

For me, there are so many good things I would love to see happen this year, but my best way to secure it is to set goals and take steps to meet them.

So I am dividing the year into “checkpoints” for my personal goals, and I invite you to come along with your own goals!

1. Spring Equinox – March 20 

2. Summer Solstice – June 21

3. Fall Equinox – September 22

4. Winter Solstice – December 21

My first Checkpoint Goal by March 20 includes dropping 5 pounds and logging in 50 miles of walking/running. 

And… cleaning our basement. This is a doozy! (Cue the Rocky Theme Song!)  We started this past weekend. Thirty years of saving things… am I really going to wear that prom dress again? This could take some time. 

Personally, I also want to plan some fun activities, both short term and long term. Good planning is a great way to ensure they will happen! I remember one time my father planned this awesome evening where he invited all of the guys (and one gal) in the family from the youngest to the oldest to go to a Harlem Globetrotters game! They planned it out, and it was an incredible memory maker for them! But it took some planning. My dad would have been 83 at the time, he is now 87 and still has dreams and is taking steps to make them happen! There is no expiration date on our ability to hope and dream, and to simply have fun! Wouldn’t you like more of that in 2017?

(photo taken just before they went to the Harlem Globetrotters game)

What are your goals? What would you like to see new or different in your life this year that would bring you joy?

Lets lift each other up and encourage each other, to live life to the full with that same feeling of adrenaline that you have when riding a roller coaster! 

To get you to say WAHOO!

We can do this!

Share your thoughts below! Your words and ideas may help all of us!

Remember you are worth your investment… doesn’t it feel good to dream a new dream?

Power Quote:  “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Love Always, 


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  1. LOVE your energy Amy!
    Hey, is it a motorized dirt bike you want to try? Scott has one! We also have some 4-wheelers if you want to start there. 🙂

  2. Dear Amy – Your blog is an inspiring prescription filled at just the right time. By the way, I had noticed a difference in your appearance – but I generally don’t make personal remarks about such on Facebook. You have always been more gorgeous than Barbie, but what stands out most – over weight loss and a different hairstyle, is a general beaming brightness about you.

    In high school I put you on a pedestal – which means that I had assigned qualities and standards to you that you knew nothing about!! 🙂 You are not off the hook – I still have you placed up there 🙂 So, your humility in admitting that you had let some things slip makes it easier not to be so hard on myself. I have struggled with my weight since age 40, after a life of being effortlessly thin. Now, I have gained weight since our beloved Springer, Max, died. There is no denying a dog, and a Springer bounds out just like a Lab. Can those breeds can be leashed trained? I doubt it – so we have no choice when out with them – run, or be dragged.

    With no time for a dog just now, I have set up a room dedicated to various exercises – resistant stretching, Egoscue Method, Yoga, weights, and I exercise during lunch hour at work, where I also walk four flights of stairs every hour.

    Other changes that have come naturally as I have spun though my 55th year are: vegetarianism, no more hair dying, and saying “no” with or without feeling guilty.

    Your inspiration was with me yesterday when I bought a pair of high-heeled (platforms help at this age) boots that hug the calf to show off the shape of it and the slender ankle below….now that is a contrast to my daily Nike Flyknits!

    Thanks for your blog, Amy. I look forward to more of your beautiful writing and ideas. There is so much to look forward to in general.

    1. Oh Tricia, what a beautiful post! I am inspired and encouraged by it! I am so sorry about losing your dear doggy Max. They are so faithful and one of a kind. You sound like you have some awesome things in your life to help you achieve your goals! I don’t know what the Egoscue Method is but I better look into it! I would love to see your new shoes! Makes me want to get out there and do some more shopping! You will see more of my “efforts” in fashion ahead, I am a total rookie jumping in but having alot of fun and laughs doing it!

  3. Amy and Trica—in retrospect I recognize your excitement for your evolving need for change–mine also took off in my 50’s with the help of weight loss surgery. Amazing energy for achieving my new career goals as s hospice case manager. Talk about meeting new people and extreme challenges in southern CA? So, thanks for reading what has inspired you.

    Just turned 68 yrs old and have been sideblinded by a passion for ‘Pickleball’ loosing 21# playing 2hrs x3 wkly. Talk about meeting new people. My all new wardrobe post loosing 160# in my mid 50’s have NEVER fit better thanks to ‘Coldwater Creek’ and still very fashionable. Our first ever formed PB team is having our first ever PB tournament this Saturday. Praying I will be over my cold by then to compete. Our goal is to compete at the annual ‘Wounded Warriors’ fund raiser at Arvada, Colorado and sponsored by Craig Hospital this coming Labor Day. It may be intimidating but pray that I can make it?

    1. Wow! Congratulations on so many things! Pickleball sounds fantastic, I will look it up! I’ve heard great things about Coldwater Creek, too! Thanks for following!

      1. Hi Kate,

        About 10 years ago I watched a talk by the celebrity physician, Christiane Northup. In it, she described the changes that happen for women in their late 40’s and 50’s. I couldn’t relate to much of it at the time, but boy, I sure can now. It’s strange to put myself first, but doing so is an new imperative that I cannot deny. Im going to check out Pickle Ball, or look into group activities, such as Amy’s walking club. And Kate, it’s nice to hear from someone in SoCal. I moved to Minneapolis a couple years ago from North County San Diego. I do so miss it.

  4. Thank you Amy for the awesome encouragement my 2017 needs! Your journey is an inspiration that will bless many and I look forward to following your blog!

    1. Learning along the way, Sue! A few missteps here and there but at least moving forward 🙂 So glad to do this journey with you!

  5. Awesome post Amy! I love reading about your journey and can relate in many ways.

    I’m working on several self-improvement goals, though I feel as if I call them New Year’s resolutions, they might slip away from me, so I like to think of them as lessons I am learning. I make time for my self-care lesson, my scripture lesson, my lessons in leadership and interviewing. I don’t know why this helps me stick to things, but it does.

    Anyway, I love the idea of committing to eat more banana splits! I may try that one:)

    1. Thank you, Alex! Yes, I really like the banana split commitment as well! Those things you are working on sound fantastic! Thank you for sharing! Very inspiring! Would love to hear how the leadership and interviewing lessons turn out, boy what a great thing to work on!

  6. With all this encouragement and a great list of goals here (I want to try them all! Lol) I think I’ll have a great 2017!! Thank you Amy!!

  7. Amy! I love your blog and I’m so proud of you! I also love that ‘update your wardrobe’ part. I think I can do that 😉