Ready, Set, Redefine and Restore in 2013, pt. 2: Release to Receive
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I spent my Christmas holiday with family and friends in beautiful San Diego, California. During my visit I had occasion to attend Sunday worship service at the church of my fabulous sister friend First Lady Sherree Fletcher (of the Hollywood Exes reality show) and her husband senior Pastor Terrell Fletcher (former professional football player for the San Diego Chargers). The sermon that Pastor Fletcher shared was powerful and it had everything to do with redefining and restoring our lives in 2013!

In part I of this series last week, I promised you a roadmap to HOW we get the life we want for ourselves in 2013. Of the many things Pastor Fletcher shared on Sunday, this one thing he said resonated with me deeply:

Learn to go where you fit in. Meaning stop going where you are simply tolerated. Surround yourself with people who celebrate you; who believe in you; who see your dreams and confirm them for you, and mostly spend your time with people who speak life to you and who are not intimidated by you. I say this all the time: Eagles fly with Eagles. Chickens scrap on the ground, pecking at one another, fighting for chicken feed. Chickens don’t fly even though they can. Eagles soar far above the skies because they know they can.

Here is my point in sharing this nugget:

Last week I gave you seven foundational principles that are critical to building a successful life. This week I want to talk about execution and how it is that we take those principles and make them “come to life” in our daily lives. The first principle I gave you is that all roads that lead to success, transformation and happiness start with YOU. In order to conquer the world, you must first conquer yourself. What Pastor Fletcher was saying is that who you spend your time with will either confirm your dreams, your gifts and your value as a human being or they will make you feel “less than”. They will tolerate you instead of restoring you when you are depleted, and in need of renewal, and refreshing.

The year 2012 is now all but behind us, and 2013 is upon us. If you truly want change in your life; if you truly want a NEW season in your life it all starts with three things:

1. Let go of who and what is not for you. I mean this from my deepest core because I am walking it out myself in deeply personal areas of my life. You must cast and no longer carry anyone or anything that hinders your gifts, or keeps you stuck and mired in pain, loss or drama. It takes courage to walk away from people, places or things that do not honor us, but if we want the lives we’ve imagined then we must surround ourselves with dream believers and not dream killers. LET GO of all that is bad for you and to you in 2012. Learn to go where you fit in!

2. You must have an active vision for your life. I recommend building a vision board. It is a simple, fun exercise that if taken seriously can truly bless your life. It only requires some scissors, cardboard, old magazines, some arts and crafts supplies, colored markers, and tape. You create the life you want for yourself in words and pictures. You create a place where you can go each day to LOOK at your VISION plan for your future. Any good career coach or leadership expert will tell you that VISUALIZATION of what we want from life is a critical first step to getting it.

3. Create a Life mission statement. Mine is and has always been: Carpe Diem or “Seize the Day”. Because life has taught me, often in cruel ways, that no day is promised; that no loved one is promised. And that life changes on a dime. As someone who has a chronic childhood disease, I know what it is like to be sick, flat on my back, and unable to do anything but lay in excruciating pain and read tons of books in my bed. But to look at me or to be around me is to never know I have such challenges. I resist giving in to my lack or my limitations. I try to live each day as if it is my last, I run after life, I move fast, I laugh out loud, I give from my heart, I love hard and I love deep, I do what I want as long as it does not hurt others, I try to say how I feel, and I believe in helping and lifting my fellow man on a very deep spiritual level. Get a life mission statement and LIVE it daily. Be accountable for your choices, and start living life on your own terms.

If you can put these three action items into play starting January 1st, 2013 and combine them with the seven principles I provided last week as your guide, you WILL see positive, meaningful change in your life in 2013. I promise you. I have been there, done it! And so can you!

Happy New Year!

Sophia A. Nelson is an contributor, an award winning author, and inspirational/motivational speaker for Fortune 500 corporations, colleges, churches and national organizations. Her newly re-released, revised Trade Paperback book Black Woman Redefined is available in stores now. You can join Sophia’s power-up daily chats via audio & Twitter under the hashtag #ReadySetRedefine2013