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New Year Thoughts

We are 13 days into the new year, how are you feeling?


I've been thinking a lot about who I want to become. Not just this year. Who do I want to become in this life?

I've started reading James Clear's book Atomic Habits, and it has opened my eyes on how I'm living my life. I'm convinced after 42 years, that habits do in fact change us for the better. I've always been someone who loves flexibility, spontaneity, and NO routines. Living in Italy was my jam because every day was a mystery. I might be at Joshua tree after my lessons or meeting Giulia for a panino at Luca & Leo's panino shop. I loved that feeling.

Pasquale mesmerized by the sunset in Florence, Italy
Pasquale gazes at the Sunset in Florence

Another reason why I loved my friend Pasquale. He was one of the people I'd always randomly run into on the streets of Florence. I'd turn the corner and there he was, with a smile.


As I read this book (I'm only on page 51), I'm realizing that my goals such as creating a better life in Italy, building my business, buying our dream home in Tuscany, and creating the healthy, sustainable lifestyle we want for us all depends on us and creating the systems in order to make these dreams come true.

He writes, "Mastery requires patience."


Something I've never been good at. Me. Patient. NOPE.


The quote that got me: "When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it--- but all that had gone before."


Systems make these habits become automatic. As I read this book the word that keeps coming up in my head is goal. What's my goal? How can I achieve my goal?


James says that "Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results." So instead of desperately trying to become successful running Truly Italy, I need to be creating habits that help me build and grow my business. Not just think about the next trip to Italy. As much as that is constantly on my mind.


Goals are wanted by all people. Those who win the race and those who lose. They both have the same goal. They both want to win the race, however the loser might not have had the systems in place to be in better physical shape than the winner. When you implement a system of continuous small improvements the outcome is different.


I'm looking at goal setting differently thanks to this book. When I moved to Italy in 2009, my goal was to make a life for myself there. I had planned to create a business but as I worked my ass off as an English teacher I fell in to a stream of doubt. Could I even do it? So my goal to live in Florence was achieved but sustaining my life there became harder to come by. I needed to change the way I thought about creating a better life for myself and Stefano. Our systems were not in place. So what did we do? We decided to try and live together in the States. As much as my heart said no and yes at the same time for moving away, it was part of the system on the way to creating a better life.


Now after 10 years of being back home, Stefano working in another country, we now have the means, the ideas, the systems to start building the life we wished we had back in 2013.


This concept of "either - or", James brings up is something I'm doing in this moment. He says "either you achieve your goal and are successful or you fail and you are a disappointment."


I had to cancel my women's retreat this year. It was hard. I felt like a failure. But it had to be done. I was not about to make myself even more stressed since I haven't had any interest in my retreats. So now, as I write this, I feel lighter and happy that I cancelled it. Because....well I go into that another time.


I'm in love with what I am doing, all I need to do now is express this love even more.

I can't wait to see the systems I'm going to put into place this year.


Nothing is going to stop me.


These things I'm taking with me into 2023:

  • I can choose how to respond to others. I cannot control how someone responds to me.

  • Compassion is key to loving yourself more.

  • Having pep talks with myself helps me stay grounded.

  • I cannot be there for everyone. I need time to disconnect from others.

  • Empathy goes a long way. To empathize is to meet people where they are.

  • You can be grieving and be content at the same time. It doesn't have to be one or the other. You can feel two opposite emotions at once.

  • Being my authentic self has opened many doors for me.

  • Never underestimate rest.

Questions for you to help create the BEST year yet!

How do you want to feel this year?

How do you want to evolve?

What do you want to release?


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