Forget New Year's Resolutions: Get What You Want In Five Steps

Most of us make New Year’s Resolutions, but by February 1st, all the promises we made ourselves have flown out the window. Forget resolutions, how about five steps that really work? I’m living proof they work. What I envisioned, I became.

I escaped my suffocating childhood and ran to theater and music. I ran from abuse to a place where I created beauty. The stage was a safe space, a place where I could scream my rage and earn a living doing it. I had passionate clarity for one thing – singing. I escaped the narcissism and pathology of my parents.

Modeling by age five, I was performing by the time I was ten. I become an award-winning, international performer in opera and musical comedy. How did I achieve my goal?

Clarity I saw myself on stage with incredible clarity. That was key to my success. There were plenty of singers more talented than I, but very few had my commitment and determination.

Your first step is to get extremely clear, and accept exactly where you are right now. Then, see, hear, smell, taste, and feel where you want to go. If you are not clear, experiment. We often take detours to our own hearts. Our purpose is not what we do, but who we are. Every experience enriches us, especially detours and mistakes.

Plan Draw a map. It doesn’t mean you won’t change your mind or change direction. Remain flexible, stay open but keep moving forward. Make 1000 plans, rip them up and start over again. Those who make plans and write them down, have a 30% higher chance of obtaining their goals.

My plan was simple: stage time, stage time, stage time! Be seen, audition for everything, sing everywhere for anyone; beauty contests, condo shows, one-woman shows on Miami Beach, old folks homes.

When I came to New York to audition for agents, I had already been performing for 15 years. There is no substitute for live theater. I was accepted by the second agent I sang for. Columbia Artists Management accepted me five years later, without ever having heard me sing, merely on my reputation.

Upgrade your skills Learning never stops for successful people. If that chip is missing, get it installed, it will make a difference in your life. Do you want to be able to earn good money and audition when you need to? Learn the skills of a virtual assistant or a grant writer.

It was the same when I was building a theatrical career; stage time, voice lessons and coaching with the best level of teacher I could afford, were my priorities. Even for my last performance at the 2002 Olympic Games, Desiree in A Little Night Music, I worked with my voice coach.

Optimize your environment What do I mean? For example, if I decide to lose 50 pounds the first thing I need to do is get the ice cream out of the freezer and the freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies off the counter. Make your environment fertile ground for your success.

The most important upgrade to my environment, was study and living in Italy. I experienced the milieu of the music I loved. I became fluent in Italian, studied with the best teacher in Europe, voice, style, literature and phrasing. I worked on roles and solfeggio with the retired singers in the rest home Giuseppe Verdi built in Milano. Complete immersion.

Master your mind set Now to the magic that makes the other four steps work. All my mentors, Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Nick Ortner, Marianne Williamson and so many more, attest mindset is at least 80% of the results you will achieve in your life. That is no exaggeration.

Performance and singing was in first place in my life. I had nothing else. The world was my home because I didn’t have a home. My parents publicly disowned me many times and spread damaging rumors. They tried to destroy my career, because I had escaped their control. Even that didn’t stop me. Commit, and no one will be able to stop you.

Recap of the five steps

Clarity Accept where you are right now. Take out a map and choose a destination.

Strategy Plan how to get what you want, stay flexible, and commit to action. Fail fast.

Skills Decide what skills you need to reach your goals. Never stop learning.

Environment Get rid of what you don’t need or want. Make space for what you want.

Mindset Fall down seven times, get up eight. Consistency. Focus and flexibility.

These five steps work – but only if you work them. Add the fuel of passion and you will achieve what you want. If I did it, so can you. You truly are the artist of your life and the greatest work of art you will ever create, is your own life.

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