January 2017

“Letting go of limiting beliefs and harmful habits can free up more time and space for life itself.” – from the book Half Full by john Murphy

It’s that time of year.  If you haven’t already started one, you may be planning to go on a “diet” that includes changing your eating habits so you can achieve your weight and fitness goals.

I am right there with you.  I have already lost my “Holiday Five” pounds though cleansing, balanced eating, cutting out desserts and snacks, and getting more exercise. I feel great and I am optimistic that I will be “bathing suit ready” for Rick’s and my 10th wedding anniversary celebration in Hawaii in May.

But even if you are already at your ideal weight, there’s a diet you may need to go on for your mental AND physical health.  This one isn’t about food. It’s about cutting back on negative thoughts and words — a “negativity” fast.

As discussed in my last blog, recent Harvard medical research proves that people who are optimists – defined as expecting eventual good outcomes, even if their present circumstances are challenging – are less likely to die of a number of ailments and more likely to live longer than their pessimistic peers.

Being an optimist requires a steady diet of positive thinking. This is important to remember, because “what we think about, we bring about.”  Whatever you expend your mental and emotional energy focusing on will inevitably grow stronger and more significant in your life.

This week, several of my clients confessed to feeling in a “funk” — mildly depressed, agitated, lethargic, not having the energy to take action on their own Big Goals. The root cause invariably had something to do with words – mostly other people’s words. Habitually spending your precious time around people who constantly complain, blame, gossip, express worry and fear, enumerate their ailments or are just generally crabby can definitely deplete your own positivity reserves.

Nowadays, such Debbie Downers don’t even have to be in your physical presence or on the phone with you. They can bombard you with negativity with the click of a mouse or the swipe of a smart phone.  But here’s the saving grace: They can only steal your sense of peace, joy and optimism if YOU allow it by focusing on them via social media, gossip sites, emails or texts.  YOU  alone decide what you let into your own consciousness — and also what YOU send out to others.

One client said he felt depressed after reading social media posts by people who are rabidly political, with views he feels are ugly and misguided.  But I pointed out that he doesn’t have to expose himself to their rants and he certainly doesn’t have to waste precious time that would be better spent pursuing his own success on trying to persuade them to change their thinking (which is almost always futile, by the way).  If you let yourself get upset and frustrated because you can’t change someone else’s mind, the only one punished is YOU. Your negative emotional reaction to what others say or do is only going to attract more negative people and circumstances to YOU because, as the Law of Attraction states, “energy attracts like energy.”

We should stand up for what we believe is right, of course. But you have to pick your battles in life.  You can’t let every annoying issue or person get you upset or steal precious time you could be spending on your own goals and loved ones. Today, there are seemingly limitless political issues being loudly, angrily “debated” on social media or incessantly spotlighted by the media.

I absolutely believe we need to stay aware and informed about important issues.  I rarely miss a national evening news broadcast and I read a daily newspaper.  But the national news reporting tends to focus on big issues that matter to most of us, not on “gotcha” gossip or minor scandals, at least not to the degree that social media, radio talk shows and local news seem to.  Whenever there is an important issue at stake, I pay attention to the facts; when it’s simply “gotcha” gossip, I don’t waste my time. That’s my “other diet” for the New Year.

I try to heed this quote from my favorite TV minister and positive thinker, Joel Osteen: “Your words are like seeds.  They have creative power.  In the future, we will all eat the fruit of our words.  Our words are going to produce exactly what we’re saying….That’s why we should say things like ‘I am blessed.  I am prosperous.  I am healthy.  I am talented.  I am creative.  I am wise.’ When we do, we are ….sowing good seed.  We are preparing our future for when we arrive.”

Because our words DO have great power, arguing, blaming, complaining, gossiping, mocking others’ opinions and comparing yourself negatively to others are among the common ways we unknowingly sabotage our own happiness and success.  If you allow yourself to be regularly exposed to the negative thoughts and words of others, you are letting weeds take root in your mental garden, and if you react negatively in return, you are watering those weeds. Not the kind of fruit you want to harvest, is it?

But if you take care to think and speak only words that are kind, measured, accurate, non-judgmental, encouraging and helpful, you are planting the seeds for a future crop of joy, fulfillment and success for yourself and lifting the level of discourse for the whole world.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Early Nightingale

As the whole world knows, we just inaugurated our 45th President of the United States.  Whether that thought makes you happy or makes you cringe, it’s a fact.

While I have very little positive to say about Donald J. Trump the man, I do have a high regard for America, for our democratic process and for the American People’s right to choose our Leaders.  So I am consciously choosing to give President Trump my respect and support, as long as he does his sworn duty to serve and protect our country.

And although I can feel disheartened when I read about some of the policies the Trump Administration and Congress seem ardent to pursue, I choose to take the long view recently expressed by departing President Barack Obama: “We’re going to be OK.”

In fact, I think President Obama’s is a great philosophy for life in general – you can expect that you are going to be OK.  Even better, you can expect that you are going to continue to be or become GREAT and that your life is going to remain or become GREAT.

“Optimists don’t always present as cheerful,” says Eric Kim, a research fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “…but they have the general expectation on the inside that things will be better [in the future].”

In a Los Angeles Times article (12/24/16) containing the quote from Dr. Kim, I read this startling statistic published in the American Journal of Epidemiology: “Researchers at Harvard University found that among a group of 70,000 female nurses, the 25% who were most optimistic had a 31% reduced risk of mortality while they were being tracked compared with the 25% who were least optimistic….[T]his work was one of the first to show that optimism is also associated with reduced risk of death from infection, respiratory disease and cancer,” the authors said.

The article went on to say, “Kim said it is unlikely that simply thinking positive thoughts about the future is behind the effect he observed.” According to Dr. Kim, “People who are more optimistic generally get better sleep, exercise more, and have healthier coping habits to reduce stress….These could be some of the pathways that optimism is working through.”

The Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) would also explain that optimists are more likely to attract other positive, optimistic folks into their sphere, while habitual Debbie Downers tend to repel positive people who don’t want to be bombarded by their constant complaints and dire predictions.  And as we all know, positive, empathetic friends can be a GREAT source of stress relief and support in trying times.

My personal favorite strategies for reducing stress are to watch a funny TV show or movie with my perpetually-optimistic husband, Rick, or laugh on the phone with my BFF, Lisa.  Lisa and I certainly don’t always express a positive view of everything, but as we trade our ironic observations and sarcastic quips like a couple of late night talk show hosts, our shared laughter releases tension. Throughout our lives, having a good sense of humor has helped us keep everything in perspective, no matter how dire the personal challenge or world problem we face.

“The good news,” according to the L.A. Times article, “is that optimism can be taught. Twin studies suggest that having an optimistic point of view is inherited 25% of the time, but there is also evidence that it can be learned.” (I believe I got my humorous, outgoing and optimistic tendencies from my Dad, while my dear Mom’s shy, more worrying nature seems to have been inherited by my brother.)

According to the Harvard study, keeping a daily Gratitude Journal is one of the simplest strategies for learning and increasing a sense of positivity and optimism, which is why I assign it to ALL my coaching clients.  Also, “keeping a list of the times you have been kind to others and  practicing mindfulness meditation on a regular basis also have been shown to improve optimism, as have various types of cognitive behavioral therapy,” according to Dr. Kim.

So, you don’t have to be a yippy, skippy, always-happy Pollyanna about everything that comes your way in order to live a healthier, happier and potentially longer life.  You just have to have a solid belief – I prefer the word FAITH  – that things are eventually going to get better, just as long as you expect The Best, take steps to actively work toward your goals with everything you’ve got, and consistently strive to live up to your own ideals, values and integrity.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E hour of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this your BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.


“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. – Edith Lovejoy Pierce, poet

 “This bright new year is given me, to live each day with zest, to daily grow and try to be my highest and my best!” – William Arthur Ward, author

In the last blog, we discussed the importance of completing your old year before you attempt to create your new year the way you want it to be.  Once you have laid to rest any disappointments, lingering resentments, incompletions and regrets over what did or didn’t happen for you last year, you are ready to create an even better new year for yourself.

I have been doing a New Year Creation exercise every year since 2004. I can’t say every year turned out exactly the way I had envisioned in every area of my life. Still, as I re-read each New Year’s Eve what I had set out to create that year, I was consistently amazed to find that much of what I truly wanted did come true.

By the way, if you haven’t yet completed the “Reflections Exercise” from last week’s blog (“A Year to Remember” #257) to help you powerfully complete 2016, identify your Big Lessons from it, and create the mental and emotional space for a year of new manifestations, please take all the time you need to finish it before you begin this next step. You can find it in the blog archives at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com.


Once you have gotten complete with the old, you are ready for a brand new year of creating your life to be how YOU want it to be!  Every January, my coaching clients use this very effective technique for creating their year on their own terms, rather than passively waiting to see how it all “turns out.” As hundreds of them have proven, you CAN ask for what you want – and get it!

STEP ONE: Create a “theme” for the year. How you would like this year show to up in your life?  Make it catchy so you can remember it on a daily basis. Last year, my theme was “2016: The Year of Effortless Expansion.”  I am happy to say that it turned out exactly like that! My coaching practice grew to capacity and my husband’s real estate business did well too. All of our clients last year came to us effortlessly through enthusiastic referrals.

My theme for this new year is “2017: My Year of Doing What I Love” because I want to share the prosperity and success principles that have helped me so much with even more of the right clients for me. Over the past year, I got great clarity about exactly who I want to work with, how much time I want to put into coaching and how much value I deserve to place on it. This year, I vow to say “Yes” and “No” to every opportunity that is presented to me based solely on whether I would LOVE to do it, without regard to finances or whether I “should” do something.  If the thought of doing it doesn’t light me up, I am going to pass and trust that something or someone EVEN better is on its way!

 STEP TWO: Create a list of attributes to describe how YOU want to show up in the world this year. State it in the present tense, as though it’s already a fact. Here’s mine: “In 2017, I am a richly-rewarded Messenger of Limitless Prosperity and Possibility: Irresistible, Confident, Peaceful, Joyous, Patient, a Good Listener, Loving and Giving. I attract Effortlessly WHO I AM and EVERYTHING I want and need.”

 By declaring who you are in writing, you will begin to become this person. And these qualities and attributes will attract to you “who you are” and “everything you want.”  As the Law of Attraction, states, “Energy attracts like energy.”  So whatever you cultivate in yourself will show up in those who will be attracted to you – in business, friendship, relationship – everywhere!

STEP THREE: List the main areas of life that are important to you.  Then simply state what you intend to have show up in each area this year.  Remember, you do not have to know how you are going to get those outcomes!  Each dream you list is simply a declaration to God/the Universe that this is what you WANT – stated in the present tense, as though it’s already happened.  It’s up to God/the Universe to figure out the HOW. It’s your job to quietly listen for Divine direction and then take ACTION.

A couple of years ago, one of my clients created the clearest, most powerful and graceful Year Creation I have ever read – all on a single page, which is much shorter than my own!  (And most of her Big Dreams came true as well!) With her permission, I share it as an example of what the format looks like when complete.

Remember, the areas of life she wrote about are the most important to HER; your Big Dreams may be in different areas, which is perfectly fine. If you see something you would like too, feel free to “borrow” it for your own!

2015 – My Year of Gentle Strength

I am a strong athlete, tender and caring friend, and open-hearted leader. I am creative, expressive and joyful. I feel and speak my truth. I am grateful, resilient and committed to my well-being.  

Health and Well-being:

I am strong and healthy.  I revel in the joy of moving and challenging my body.  I run, swim, cycle, lift weights and do yoga with passion, as these things make me fully alive. I treat myself with gentle love, accepting what my body needs and can do on any given day. I eat whole, real foods that nourish me and provide me with optimal health. I give thanks for my healthy body.


I have a comforting spiritual practice that allows me to build a beautiful connection with God.  Through regular prayer, gratitude and reflection, I allow God’s will to be my guide.


I am grateful for a fulfilling marriage and friendship with my husband.  We appreciate our time spent together, especially when we are separated geographically. We love, honor and respect one another and the gift of building our marriage and sharing experiences together.


I have a fulfilling and rewarding job that allows me to use my leadership skills.  I have a steady income that continues to grow.  I maintain a healthy balance between challenging work and my personal life, allowing me to nurture myself on many levels for overall health. As part of my self-care journey I balance time for work and time for home.


I comfortably attract abundance into my life.  I earn enough steady income to feel a sense of peace about our life.  I ask for what I want and need with confidence and a strong sense of self-worth.


I live a life that seeks and celebrates balance.  I nurture many parts of myself so that I may flourish. I pray and meditate daily, I capture my profound gratitude in my journal and I connect with my inner wisdom to live each day at the pace and intensity that is right for me.  I treat myself with kindness, compassion, and unconditional love. I feel lightness in my every day being.


I am surrounded by a small circle of loving friends who accept me for who I am, support me, and teach me what I need to learn.  We want only the best for each other. I see them for socializing regularly.


Our home is filled with nourishing sunlight and love.  It is open, warm and welcoming.  It comforts and sustains me and is where I find peace and love. It provides beauty and safety for our family.

 What matters most to YOU right now? 

In this exercise, all you have to do is ASK God/the Universe for it and BELIEVE it will show up for you at the perfect time and in the perfect way. Some of my clients like to read their Year Creation daily or weekly. I read mine just a few times during the year, to stay connected to it. But you could put yours away in a drawer and not take it out until next New Years — and you will be amazed to realize that your own subconscious mind has been conspiring behind the scenes with the Divine Mind to create opportunities for you to make your Big Dreams a reality. That’s the Law of Attraction in action! So don’t delay — The BEST year of your life is just waiting for you to create it!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next Sunday off.  Your next Cup of Caroll will arrive on Sunday January 22.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.