Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What are Your Desires, Dreams, and Goals for 2014?

The end of one year and the start of the next is a common time for contemplation.

2013 was a big year for me.  Lots of ups and downs.  And some big life-changing events (I got engaged!).

As momentous as 2013 was, I have some big desires and dreams for 2014.  And there's no time like the start of the year to set those intentions.

What  has gone like you envisioned in 2013?

What happened that you wanted to have happen, or that you're pleasantly surprised about?

I like to keep the focus positive here... no need to drudge up events that you weren't happy about or that didn't go like you had hoped (unless, of course, it's something you can actively do something about to make an improvement for the year ahead).


Now what would you like to see happen in 2014?  

Christine Hassler has a great way to look back/look ahead.  Check out her article here.

Remember, through whatever exercises you do or don't do to ring in the new year, it's your life.  It's your life to create however you like.

Would you like a new or different relationship in 2014?  Set your standards now.  And stick to them!

Would you like to be more financially secure in 2014?  See that for yourself, and feel it in your heart.  It can happen!

Would you like a new or better job, one that you actually enjoy, in 2014?  That can happen too!  Open your mind and relax your heart.  Let the Universe surprise you with all the abundance coming your way!

I especially loved Christine Hassler's phrase:

"This or something better for the highest good of all concerned.  And so it is."  

As grand a vision as you may have for yourself, the Universe might just have a grander one.  Allow the best to come into your life.  Even if it's something you don't see right now or have a hard time accepting might actually happen for you.

Whatever desire is in your heart can happen.  I believe this with every fiber of my being.  That's not to say I still don't have my struggles, doubts, and low points.  We all do.  But let those low points pass, pick yourself up, and keep your sights set on your goals.

I would love to hear any happenings from 2013 or desires for 2014 that you'd like to share and "put out there."  Feel free to leave comments below, or email me directly at sarah@sarahdizney.com.

Last, but not least, I want to thank you all who read this blog.  I started it last December, so it's been a little over a year going, but 2013 was the first full year.  I have loved watching the number of viewers increase over that time, and reading the comments you share.  It's my desire to continue it, and continue to watch it grow.  It's also a desire for me to help any of you in any way I can to be you and live your dream!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Use What You've Got

Below is the message I got from tut.com a couple days ago:

"You must use what you've got.  
Talent, brains, heart.  
Instincts, hunches, feelings.  
Money, health, friendships.  
Time, space, stuff.  
Otherwise, why would you need more?"  -- tut.com

It was like a slap upside the head for me.

I've been worrying, contemplating, trying to figure out how to make more money a lot lately.

Granted, I'd still like to increase my income.  But, this message from tut.com reminded me that I don't, in fact, need any money right now.
I've blogged about this before, and isn't it funny how we forget our own lessons?  Thankfully, the Universe repeats them for us.

They say if you live in lack, in scarcity, that's where you'll stay.  It's what you'll attract more of.

I didn't feel like I was living in scarcity, but I was.  I was holding onto the money I had in savings, afraid of letting it run out.

Afraid.  I was living in fear.  That's never a good way to attract abundance and prosperity.

What's even funnier is I had a thought pop into my head the day before I got that tut.com message.  The thought, a knowing really, was that I needed to use the money I had before I'd get more.

Now I don't know if I need to run my bank balance down to zero before I'll bring more money into my life.  I certainly hope not.  But the message is clear.

I need to use what I've got... otherwise, why do I need more?  

There are several home improvement projects I'd like to do to my house.  It's a kind of long, and rather expensive, list.  But the first item on the agenda is renovating the bathroom.

That's the first item because the bathtub pipes currently leak into the basement.  So it would make no sense to finish the basement (another item) until the source of the water is stopped.

I had been putting it off, saying I would do it once I was making more money.  Well.... I have enough money in savings to renovate the bathroom now.  And that's what hit me.

I need to take the first step.  

The Universe favors movement.  You'll get nowhere if you stand still.  You've got to move.

Momentum begets more momentum.


I realized that I knew if I proceeded ahead with remodeling the bathroom, the money would come to move on to the next step -- finishing the basement.

This has happened on multiple occasions throughout my life.  The next step became clear after I made the first step.

When I quit my teaching job, I had no back-up job in place.  I didn't know what I'd do next.  Did I sit at home, holding tight to my savings until I found that next job?

No!  I took a two-week trip to China!

I'm sure people thought I was crazy, but I knew that's what I needed to do.  I needed to get out.  To move!  And sure enough, it got the snowball started.

When I got back from China, within a couple of months, things fell into place -- strangely perfectly -- that charted my course for the next several years.  And I never had to worry about the money.

My car has also been subtly trying to tell me this lately as well.

I've had my car for 12 years now.  I knew when I hit the 10-year mark that a new (new-to-me) car probably wasn't too far away.  So I started saving money.  And then when I got the unexpected inheritance a couple years ago, I set aside a lump sum earmarked for a new car.

Yet, in my current situation -- with little income and things so up in the air -- I started looking at that "car fund" as additional emergency back-up money.

As in... if I didn't start bringing in more of an income, I could live even longer off of that savings.

I was stalled.  I wasn't moving forward.  I was afraid to use what I had, in fear that more wouldn't come.

I think that's the source of my discontent as of late.  I've felt stuck.  Well, I've told myself I'm stuck!

But back to the car... it's been having issues starting, only sometimes, but for the past few months.  It's been so infrequent that I didn't worry about it.

Then about a week ago it began having issues starting a lot more frequently.  As in, nearly every time.

I believe now that the Universe was gently nudging me to make a move.  Take the next step.

Could I be reading more into this than is really there?  I could.  But I don't think so.  I believe the Universe speaks to us.  It guides us.  And when we don't pay attention to the quiet whispers and gentle nudges, it speaks a little louder and nudges a little more forcefully.


So here's what I've resolved to do:

After the holidays, I'm going to start looking for a new car, in earnest.  And when I find one, that's within my set-aside budget, I'll get it.

And in January I'm going to get bids for my bathroom renovation.  I may wait until the spring to do the job, just because I don't like doing big home projects, especially where water is involved, in the winter.  But... come March/April... work will  begin on my new bathroom.

What have you been holding onto that you're afraid to use?  

Holding onto anything too tightly doesn't allow for fluid movement.  It doesn't allow for even more to come to you.

Are you keeping yourself stuck where you're at, or holding yourself back, by holding on too tightly to what you're afraid to lose?

I have.  I invite you to go with me as I release my hold, use and enjoy what I have now, and allow for even more abundance to come into my life.



Friday, December 20, 2013

Allow Yourself to Change

Our path in life isn't a straight shot.  Sometimes we think we know what we want, what will suit us, what will make us happy... so we head down that path, only to find it not what we expected at all.

If that happens to you, give yourself permission to back out of that path and take a new one.

I recently had to do that myself.

As you may know, I've been working as a freelance writer (copywriting and business marketing) for the past 3 months or so.  Actually, working may not be the right word.  More like, trying to get it going.

But regardless, in trying to get my business going, I've had several "false starts."  Several paths I've ventured down, only to realize part-way down that I wasn't all that comfortable on that path after all.

I did the same thing in college.  I think I officially had 4 majors before graduating.  And unofficially I probably had at least 6 or 7.

One thing would sound good to me. I'd think, "Yes!  This is it!  This is what I want to do!"  I felt so sure.  So I boldly and confidently walked down the path.

Then I either learned something I didn't know before, or something else seemed a better fit for me, so I'd back out of that path and made a new choice.

Some people can make a choice and stick with it.  Maybe they really have found their life's purpose and dream job (or whatever the choice may be).  Or maybe they don't care -- they just don't want to make a change.

Whether this is a personality trait, character trait, or belief about life... I don't have it.

I seem to be innately incapable of forcing myself to do something which I don't want to do.

I'm not talking minute, unimportant little things.  I don't want to pick up dog poop in my back yard, but I can make myself do it.  I'm talking more weighty decisions such as what I want to spend hours doing for my chosen line of work.

My point is this:  Allow yourself to change.  To evolve.  To grow.  To become the "you" you're meant to be.

Some people seem afraid of changing.  They don't want to "look bad" to other people.  They're afraid what others will think of them if they change their mind, pursue a new direction, do something unexpected and different.

You gotta get over that!  

I'm not immune to those thoughts and fears.  When I recently decided to switch my copywriting niche I had the same thoughts running through my head.  I had announced to everyone what my niche was.  I was proud of it.  I was excited.  I was sure "that was it."

Then slowly, over time, I realized I wasn't happy anymore.  I wanted to do something else.  Not abandon that niche entirely, but just open myself up to more variety.

I worried how I'd look to others.  To all those people I declared my chosen niche to.  Would they think I was fickle?  Immature?  Falling prey to "shiny ball syndrome."

I don't know what they thought, didn't think, or will think.  But I reminded myself that it didn't matter.  It's my life.  I'm going to do what makes me happy.

What makes you happy?  What do you feel drawn to do?

Regardless of what anyone thinks (but you), I encourage you to take that new path.  Pursue that different direction.  Check it out.  It may not be what you think it'll be... but it may be all that and more!

You'll never know until you put yourself out there and do.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Focus on the NEXT Step

I've been struggling lately with actually creating the life I envision. 

I'm all for vision boards (I have several).  I meditate (occasionally).  I fully believe in the power of thought. 

Where I've hit my blocks is with actually making it happen.  Seeing it to fruition. 

Then I realized something yesterday.  I'm focusing entirely on the big picture.  The grand vision.  The dream life.  And not on the next step. 


I'll say it again:  The grand vision is a must!  I believe you need to know where you ultimately want to be in order to head in the right direction.

But get that grand mental image in your head; set your intentions; and then focus on the here and now. 

What can you do right now that will take your closer to your goal?

What do you need to do first, before you can realize your dream?

I'll get specific and personal.  I hope you can see something of yourself in me... and if you can, I'd love to hear your story! 

My grand vision is to be a successful writer.  To have an abundant, overflowing income.  To be able to help the charities of my choice (and make a BIG impact).  To not worry about how much every little thing costs all the time.  And to live my life on my terms (the ultimate dream).   

What's your grand vision? 

Where I created stumbling blocks for myself was because I didn't break down that ultimate goal into bite-size pieces. 

I want to be a hugely successful writer, with an abundant income, never worrying about money? 

Great!  But what do I do now

Get a paying client! 

It sounds so simple, and it is.  I think I have been "trained" so much to see the big picture, and to create that mental vision, that I was forgetting how to focus on the smaller steps to get there. 

What small steps do you need to do to make your grand vision a reality? 

Do you want to be an actor/actress?  Are you going to auditions regularly? 
Do you want to be a singer/songwriter?  Are you writing and recording your own songs (via whatever avenues you have access to right now... like YouTube)? 
Do you want to be a doctor/teacher/astronaut/biologist?  Have you looked into college courses in that field? 

I apologize if this post seems inanely obvious to some of you.  It's almost embarrassingly obvious to me too.  But I wanted to write about it because I think it's a common problem.  Getting overwhelmed by the huge, lofty goal, so much so that you become paralyzed, or convince yourself that it'll never happen anyway, so why even try? 

When I had decided to quit my job as a teacher, I thought the best job would be a sign language interpreter.  I had seen one once at an event and thought it would be the coolest, best job ever! 

Did I know any sign language?  Beyond the basic alphabet, no. 

Did I even know any Deaf people OR interpreters?  Not one. 

But I did something then that I seemed to have forgotten how to do lately. 

I didn't worry myself with all those details of how to get to the final image in my head: me as a sign language interpreter.  I realized the FIRST step was that I had to learn sign language.  So I looked on the internet for local sign language programs... found one... and applied.  It all fell into place from there. 


What is your next step?

Remember, for each destination, there's countless ways to get there.  The path someone else took may or may not work for you.  Listen to your heart.  Do what feels right for you. 

But do something. 

Now get out there and take that next step!  And if you want to share your journey with someone, I'd love to be that person!  You can leave a comment below, or email me at sarah@sarahdizney.com.

Monday, November 25, 2013

When to Fly the Nest

Whether you're growing up and it's time to leave your parents' home, you're changing careers or moving up the ladder, starting a new business, or something else, it can often be difficult to understand when it's time to leave the protective arms (literally or figuratively) you've come to rely on. 

I've mentioned that I've started my own freelance writing business.  As in an actual "business" with paying clients... or at least that's the idea. 

In the beginning I felt like I had so much to learn (I still do).  I signed up for several online courses, read countless articles and blogs, and felt like a sponge that couldn't soak up enough information. 

I felt like I needed to learn all I possibly could before even trying to get clients. 

So I learned.  I read.  I studied.  I attended conferences, seminars, and workshops.  I wondered if I'd ever feel ready to "go out on my own" and actually do this work I've been learning about. 

Here's what I've found: 

There does come a time when you get tired of learning from others and reading articles and you just want to do something already! 

That's where I'm at now. 
We're like birds.  At first, we sit in the nest, hungry.  We cry out, and our source brings us food.  We gobble it down; we're not picky.

We're also afraid to leave the nest.  It's so far down.  What if we fall?  What if we get hurt?  What if we can't find food on our own? 

So we sit there, waiting to be provided for.  And it works for a while. 

Then we get bored, or curious, or a combination of the two. 

We start looking around and see that there is food all over the place.  Lots of different kinds of food!  And lots of different methods for acquiring this food. 

We then realize it's up to us. 

We can continue to sit in the safe and warm nest, eating only what is brought for us.  It may be comfortable, but in time we'll outgrow the nest.  And we'll get tired of the same food over and over. 

Or we can choose to take a chance.  We don't know how to fly, exactly.  We've seen it done.  We know we're capable. But we haven't done it ourselves yet. 

It's scary.  It's uncertain.  Success is not 100% guaranteed. 

But we see others flying around, unencumbered, all around us.  And we want that for ourselves. 

Finally there comes a time to take that leap.  That first step. 


Have you been there?  I'd love to hear your story... whether you're still in the nest, just learning to fly, or soaring on your own now. 

Me?  I'm just learning to fly.  I've made the decision to leave the nest, but I'm far from soaring high and gracefully.  I'm still very much in the uncertain period.  Yet, I feel like it's time to start doing more and spend less time focused solely on learning (though learning never stops).

Still, one of my all-time favorite quotes, below:


What will you be?  And what do you need to do to get there? 

I know what I already am at heart... a writer.
I know what I want to be... a highly sought-after, and well-paid writer.
Now what do I need to do to make that happen? 

Time to get busy folks! 

*I'd love to hear your story in the comments below.  Or you can email me directly at sarah@sarahdizney.com


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Get Out of the Past

I have a problem.  That problem is I live too much in the past. 

I catch myself doing it all the time.  Getting upset about something that's over and done with.  Reliving some past painful experience.  Or even recreating past events, whether I was actually there or not, and creating a struggle for myself right now. 

Sounds silly, and it is. 

Because when I get present, I realize my life is pretty spectacular.  Sure, there are things I'd like to improve... and I'm working on that.

Why do I do this?  I'm not sure.  Fear, I guess.  Fear of the past coming back and happening again, perhaps.  Trying to control my present by "keeping tabs on" what's happened in the past. 

Regardless, it needs to stop.  Or at least lessen significantly.  There's no need for it.  No good comes out of living in the past. 
For me, and I suspect for many of you, there are certain things in the past that I don't like.  I don't like that they happened.  That's what draws my attention... the dislike for the past event and the desire to change it. 
But we can't change the past.  Choices people made.  Things people did.  It's done.  Let it go. 
When you continually think about past events, you're bringing them into your present... and using them to shape your future.
A far better, and wiser, course of action is to release the past.  Just relax and release.  Focus on what's here now, and set your intentions for the future. 
Here's something else I've caught myself doing many times.  When I meet someone new and they ask me what I do, my tendency is to start by saying, "Well, I used to be a teacher..."
Why do I do this?
I suspect because since I'm starting a new business, and being brand new in this field, I'm still unsure.  I don't know if I'll succeed.  I don't know what'll happen.  And calling myself a "writer" or a "copywriter" feels foreign to me.  (At least it used to... I'm getting better about it.) 
I'm also not sure how people will respond to me saying, "I'm a writer."  People tend to have preconceived notions about that.  I don't want to be judged.  And the profession of a teacher is so much more traditional and respected.  At least in my family and with people I interact with most.
I'm learning though, that to get to where you want to go, you have to set your intentions there. 
By continually living in the past, you're staying in the past.  You're dooming yourself to either repeat the past or not get out of it. 
Change your course!  Change your thoughts. 
Look around you right now, today.  What beauty do you see?  What love do you feel?  That is the truth.  The past is just your mind, your thoughts, your ego swirling around.
Release the past.
Set intentions for the future.
Focus on the present.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Don't Give Up!

I've been listening to Joel Osteen's audio book, "Break Out."  It's fantastic and I highly recommend it!  The section I listened to today in the car is the inspiration behind today's blog post. 

Most people have to "go through" many no's and rejections before their dreams come true, or before they hear a "yes."  Keep going!  Don't get discouraged! 

Joel talked about how our "Yes!" is coming.  Don't give up.  


Joel asked if you knew you had to go through 20 "no's" in order to get to your "yes" -- be it rejections in relationships, rejections for a new job or position, rejections for a book proposal... whatever -- would you proceed through those 20 "no's" to get to your "yes?" 

I'm sure you'd say Yes to that!  I know I would. 

The hard part is not knowing.  We don't know if we'll have 3 no's, 15 no's, 100 no's... so each time we get a new "no," it can be disheartening.

But remember this.... ALL of us have to deal with this fact of life.  So you're not alone! 

The key is keeping your dream in the forefront of your mind.  Remember why you want it.  Keep the passion alive. 
It doesn't matter how many people tell you "no."  How many rejections you face.  How "improbable" it is.  If the dream is in your heart, it CAN and WILL come to fruition! 

I have always believed this, and Joel Osteen believes it too.  One of the stories he shared in the "Break Out" chapter was about an actress who went to countless auditions and kept hearing "no."  But she wanted badly to be an actress, so she didn't give up.  Eventually, she got a part in a hit TV series of the time.  And when she was asked how many auditions she went to, being rejected at each one, before getting that break-out part, she estimated thousands! 

Can you imagine?  Getting told thousands of times "no," but continuing on anyway? 

But that's what we're here to do.  Life isn't always easy.  How badly do you want what you say you want?

Before I sign off for today, I'll share something that's worked for me.  Something that has helped me turn around my negative thoughts and get back on the positive track. 


They work for me, plain and simple. 

All of us have thought patterns that go around and around in our heads.  That little voice that says, "You can't," "You won't," "You don't deserve it," "It won't happen for you."  We all have it.  In order to get past that voice, we have to create a new thought pattern.  Replace the old, negative one with a new, positive one.  That's where affirmations come in. 

Over three years ago I felt ready for a long-term relationship.  I had been single for years, and prior to that, my longest relationship was just 6 months consecutively.  I felt ready for more.  Yet I didn't know if a long-term relationship was in the cards for me.  I mean, after all, I hadn't had one yet, so who's to say if I ever would?  (Note: I was in my early 30s at this point, and most of my friends were already married, with children.) 

So I created an affirmation that stated what I wanted.  It went like this:
"I'm so happy and grateful now that I'm in a fun, loving, happy, long-term, romantic relationship with an amazing man, who's crazy about me." 

> Affirmations should be short enough that you can remember them easily, and repeat them many times if needed. 
> They also need to be in the present tense.  State it like it's already here.
> Starting with "I'm so happy and grateful now that..." sets the scene perfectly for an affirmation.  

I said it countless times.  When I was walking my dogs and the thoughts would creep in... "I might be single forever," I'd replace it with the affirmation.  Usually repeating it multiples times in a row. 

*Note: When you're saying affirmations, you've got to create a groove in your brain.  That's why multiple repetitions help.  You've got to believe it.  Even if you don't 100% believe it the first time you say it, convince yourself.  Repeating something over and over and over again is a proven way to change your thoughts and actually convince yourself of something. 

Anyway, after a few weeks of repeating my affirmation I did meet someone.  "The" person.  It works. 

So now I'm trying a new affirmation.  My current challenge is in my professional life.  I'm building a new business.  I have thoughts all the time of not being good enough, of no one hiring me, etc. 

Last night I sat down and created a new affirmation for myself.  I wrote it on a dry-erase board in my bathroom.  I'm getting into the habit of repeating it, just like I did for the relationship affirmation. 

What is it that you want?  What's your dream for yourself? 

Whether it's a relationship-based dream, professional-based dream, or anything else.  Jot down a few sentences that sum up, honestly, what it is that you want.  Don't worry about being pretentious or "not deserving" it, or being conceited.  What do you want?  Write it down. 

Then condense the individual sentences into a single phrase, that will become your easy-to-repeat affirmation. 

I was going to keep mine private, but I've decided to share it. 

My initial sentences of "what I want" were these (copied directly from my notepad):
I have an abundant income.
I'm a successful and sought-after copywriter.
I command high fees.

Now to put this in perspective for you, I have yet to get my first client as a copywriter.  I'm brand new to this business.  Yet, I believe it can and will happen for me.

Condensing those sentences above, here is my new affirmation:

"I'm so happy and grateful now that I have an abundant income and command high fees as a highly sought-after copywriter." 

What's yours?  I'd love to hear it in the comments below. 

But whether you share it or not, if you have a dream in your heart that you have yet to realize... consider trying affirmations.  And whatever you do, don't give up!