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I hope you had an incredible holiday and an amazing New Year.  My time on the east coast was spectacular, some of the highlights were:

* Getting delightfully giddy over gewurztraminer, oysters and grilled cheese with Jonathan at our favorite West Village spot during our 24 hour jaunt to NYC.

* Sitting near a gorgeous, petite, asian, homeless woman with the most amazing long grey hair at Old South Church on Christmas Eve.  It was like watching a 13 year old girl at a Taylor Swift concert, she was so joyful and taken by the stories and hymns.

* Sneaking out of the house with my siblings and family friends on Christmas Eve, collecting a discarded Christmas Tree and then ringing my parents doorbell and belting “Angels we have Heard on High” at the top of our lungs.

* Having my 3 best friends from growing up come to our home in SF for a fancy New Year’s Eve feast with our darling men.

With new year’s resolutions crowding our inboxes and facebook feeds, it’s important to savor the moments of the holidays, especially if the only thing you can remember right now is Tuesday’s hangover:).

I have to admit that the 2 previous emails that I drafted to send to you today, I scrapped. I think it’s because I find the whole topic of “New Year’s Resolutions” a little cheesy, and yet, I looooove making them and think goal setting, dreaming and visioning is incredibly important.

The traditional new year’s resolution-ing process is about choosing something you’re gonna change, or stop doing immediately, which is a total death trap.  We can’t just change who we are and how we operate on a dime. That intention of perfection only sets us up for failure.

The reality is that change has to happen gradually.  When I first started working with my friend and mentor, Jena LaFlamme, she told me that change was going to be like water evaporating – you can’t see it happening, but one day you wake up and the water is gone.  You can’t always see change during the process, but one day you wake up, and you’re just different.

So instead of making all these harsh resolutions, I wanted to walk you through an exercise that’s more fun, more gentle, more realistic and a whole lot more effective.

I first did this exercise with one of my teachers, Tara Marino and I couldn’t believe that something so simple could have such a profound effect on my life.

What I want you to do today, or this weekend, is to carve out an hour to do a vision of your life a year from now.  Just a free write, in the present tense in your journal or on your computer.  I decided to get super vulnerable and include my vision below my signature in this email so you could have a reference point. I changed my mind a million times about whether to show this to you, but I figured, what the hell;).

Here are some guidelines:

  • Start your email with “It’s January 4th (or 5th etc) 2014” and then talk about every detail of one day from the time you get up till the time you go to bed.  Doing a day-in-the-life will guide you to be really specific.
  • Just because you write this down does not mean you have to accomplish this or that you can’t change your mind, don’t be paralyzed by finality, just have fun and roll with it.
  • Stop feeling guilty.  When I was writing this vision some thoughts I had were, “I shouldn’t want this, it’s too much”.  “I’m fine just the way I am why should I want more?”  “Is it vain to want to be beautiful?”  It’s normal to feel guilty for wanting more, but that guilt is usually based in the idea that there is a finite amount of success and if you have more than someone will have less.  The reality is that there is an infinite amount of success to go around and the more you have, the more you can allow the people around you to have it as well.  Guilt can also stem from this belief that the more I have, the less thoughtful, service oriented and centered I will be.  This is not true!  Having abundance in your life does not make you a spoiled, self-centered brat.  In fact, having abundance allows you to be even more of service and connected to your purpose.
  • Include how you feel.  Since reading Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map I have been really focused on feelings.  Make sure that you write about how you want to feel in your body, in your clothes, about work, money, love and friendship.

Now, when I sat down to write my vision this morning, I really didn’t want to.  I have a cold, I need to pack to go to Tahoe this weekend and have a million errands to run.  But I knew that having a vision is like having a compass to steer me in the right direction, and without it my year, and even my day would feel off kilter. Tweet it!

What’s amazing is that just the act of doing the vision has put me back on my axis.  I often feel like my life’s path is a train that is run by a completely different force out of my control.  Writing my vision is like remembering where my train is going and at the same time, it’s my ticket to get on that train.  Otherwise I’m just stuck in the station being bumped around by travelers like a pinball machine.

I meet so many women who think they should wait to explore their vision until after they lose weight.  They think that they’ll just concentrate all of their energy on losing 30 lbs and then they’ll have the clarity to figure out what their life should be about.  But without clarity, meaning and direction, food is our only way to get a false sense of feeling grounded, centered and alive.

The only way to lose weight is to know where your life is headed.

And the most amazing thing I’ve learned since I’ve been spending time writing visions for my life, is that writing the vision takes effort, but once it’s out of our minds and onto paper, our lives start to magically, subconsciously, invisibly and effortlessly moving in the direction of our dreams.

In the comments below I would love to know:
1. If you’ve done a vision like this before and what your experience was?
2. Do you have any other new year’s exercises that you’ve found helpful?
3. Do you have a snippet of your vision you’d like to share?  Like something you’re particularly excited about?  OR (this would be awesome) something you feel guilty for wanting?

I’m so excited to dive into this with you.

And before I sign off I wanted to let you know that I’m going to be emailing people privately next week about applying for my VIP Private Coaching and Mentorship program.  If you want to get on the shortlist, today is the last opportunity.  You can just reply to this email saying you’re interested and I’ll make sure you’re first in line for one of the 5 spots I have open.

Happy New Year, my dear! I’m so excited help you make this your best year yet.

xo

Sarah

As promised… my vision:

It’s January 4th, 2014.

I wake up naturally around 7:30 to the sunlight pouring in my windows, alarms are a thing of the past.  I feel rested, alive and excited about my day.  I spend some time laying in bed, feeling the crisp white sheets against my skin and reflecting on my dreams from the night before.  Next to me on his pillow is a little note from Jonathan that he left before he went to work.  

I get out of bed and throw on the coziest bathrobe and turn on the kettle for tea.  While the water is heating up, I sit on my plush cozy bedroom rug and meditate for 5-10 minutes.  I have a collection of about 20 meditations on my iPhone that make me feel inspired and joyful.   

My apartment is clean, organized and full of light, color and fresh flowers.  It feels spacious yet cozy, clean yet creative.

I take some time to sip a cup of tea and look out the window, read a book or check up on my favorite blogs.

At 8:40 I leave my apt to walk to yoga and meet up with a friend in the neighborhood along the way.  We quickly catch up and go to yoga together. It’s so nice to have someone close by who I can chat with regularly and who inspires me to get to yoga.

In class I feel strong, flexible and centered.  I have an awesome yoga outfit on that makes my butt look awesome and doesn’t pinch under my arms.  When I do a downdog I’m not worried about my belly hanging down, in fact my belly looks ah-mazing.

When I get home, I shower with the most amazing organic products and take the time to appreciate my strong, sleek body.  I feel so lucky to feel so beautiful and at home in my skin.  

Choosing my outfit for the day is a blast.  As I fling open the doors of my armoire I’m greeted by the most beautiful clothes, all color coordinated.  It’s like walking into my favorite boutique.  I choose a cream silk blouse, perfectly fitted jeans and brown boots.  I add a few funky necklaces and some simple earrings.  

I sit down at my vanity with stellar lighting and gaze over my gorgeous makeup that is perfectly displayed in glass cups and bowls.  I take my time putting on my makeup, admiring my flawless skin.  

By noon I’m out the door and off to a cafe where I’m meeting 3 other women to work.  We intermittently chat, work and give each other advice.  I feel excited, sure and confident in what I’m producing.  I don’t feel rushed, my ideas flow freely and I feel super creative and of service to my readers and the women in my programs.  Overall, work is easy, fun and inspiring.

I’m excited to talk with my private clients tomorrow and to hear about all of the progress they’ve had over the past few weeks.  It feels like hanging with close girlfriends.  

At 6 I leave to go take a voice lesson with a group of women I’ve been singing with for a few months.  We sing fun modern songs, I’m getting better at holding a harmony and I’m thinking about auditioning for a musical next week, crazy!

When I get home I have a note from my personal assistant about what she accomplished today.

– Laundry picked up and put away
– shoes straightened in your closet
– dishes washed and put away
– packages shipped, packages picked up and mail opened and sorted
– dress returned
– fresh flowers on the table

Amazing! It feels so good to have a woman I trust to help me with my errands so I can focus on my business and my relationship.

After I swing by Whole Foods to pick up a few things for dinner, I come home, change into a silk tank and throw my hair up into a messy top knot and touch up my makeup.  I feel fresh, relaxed, beautiful and sexy as I start my evening with Jonathan.  

When Jonathan comes home around 8, he showers, decompresses and changes out of his scrubs. I put dinner on hold and we take 10 minutes to sit with each other on the couch to focus on each other and talk about our days.  

Together we finish up dinner and sit at our dining room table in our sturdy, comfy chairs and enjoy a simple, delicious, healthy meal.  We talk about what we’re grateful for, we laugh and appreciate each other.  I feel so in love, desired and connected to Jonathan.

As he does the dishes I straighten up the apartment and turn down the bed.  Once things are pulled together we sit on the couch and talk more, read or watch a TV show.  We feel calm, present and completely focused on each other and no stress or anxiety from the day creeps in.  

As we get ready for bed together I feel tired, relaxed and excited for a new amazing day to begin tomorrow.  Settling into bed I feel so grateful that this is my life.  


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