Wednesday, January 9, 2013


As I was making the new "Featured" tab on Compelled To Do So, I was reminded of a little blurb I wrote about success for my good friend Andi's blog, Polish my Crown.

Andi asked several friends and bloggers to define success. Here is what I wrote:
"Success is achieving a goal or conquering a dilemma and feeling joyful and proud after. Success is not necessarily the result of following a specific plan because missteps often lead us to new and better opportunities. What constitutes success varies on an individual basis. One person’s success cannot be measured or compared against another’s. Success is unique. Success is moving up, pushing forward and reaching out for more. Success is what happens when we recognize the possibilities that lie before us, capitalize on our resources, and work with unyielding passion and determination to make those possibilities a reality. The best part about success is that we can all acquire it. Success is limitless. Success is glorious."
It's been almost exactly a year since I wrote that. It amazes me how quickly I let my own advice elude me. A refresher on my personal perception of success was exactly what I needed. The part that sticks out to me most in my definition is the line that reads,"Success is unique." Recently, I have found myself using the accomplishments of others as a barometer for my own success. That stops now.

No one's success looks or feels like anyone else's.

Success can be winning an award, finishing a thousand-page book or simply finding the perfect red lipstick.

We label and define our own success. We don't need others to affirm or validate well-deserved pride.

The key is to find little successes in every day. Tied together, little successes become life accomplishments that no one can deny as being remarkable. They key is making every day and every moment count. Starting now.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Refreshing New Year

New Year's Day normally just feels like January 1 to me. Nothing new or exciting happens when the calendar turns. This year, though, finally felt different. It felt like someone hit a "refresh" button on my life -- or, rather, on my life outlook. Loose ends still need to be tied and stressors still need to be battled, but the New Year has given me energy. I'm looking at everything with fresh eyes. Every untied knot is an opportunity. 2013 is full of promises.

New Year's Eve with my favorite friends

The New Year, in fact, even prompted me to make a few resolutions. I typically don't do that. I detest the vague "get healthy," "learn something new," "help others" resolutions. Those are not resolutions -- they are lifestyle choices. You don't just change your life because it's January 1. You have to consciously choose to pursue the life you want every single day. I'm already working on that.

So, here are my resolutions:

1. Wear lipstick more often -- My lips usually rock their birthday suit on a daily basis. Vaseline in a tube is typically the only product that touches them. Nude lips can be flattering, but color is wonderful. I'm ready for corals, berries and reds.

Diane Kruger can do no wrong

2. Do a backbend every day -- I did one a few months ago in yoga class, and it made me feel like a 10-year-old. I liked that feeling. Plus, flexibility is a good thing. I want to preserve whatever low level of it I have.

Ms. Stretch Armstrong

3. Read for fun -- I'm kind of cheating with this one. Nick gave me a Kindle Fire for my birthday in October. I'm already reading more now than I did when the first Harry Potter books came out 11 years ago. (I was obviously a popular pre-teen.) My real goal is to keep this trend going when textbook season starts again.

E-books don't photograph well

My 2013 resolutions are fun and lighthearted. I won't be devastated if I don't accomplish them. They simply make me smile, which is exactly what the prospect of the New Year should do.

In 2013, I will start a career, move to a new city and meet so many people that I will have trouble remembering names. I'm ecstatic for that. I'm thrilled for the New Year.

Here is to fresh starts, untroubled resolutions and, of course, the perfect red lip.

Happy New Year!
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