Dawn Klemann

Dawn Klemann

I am so grateful we get another year of this life to figure it out. Now let’s make it good!

1. Treat the one’s you love at least as well as you treat everyone else.

Even though we know how to act, sometimes we decide not to, especially with the ones we love. Decide to love them, and they will decide to love you back.

2. Do it right the first time.

We usually know what we should do. The problem is, it isn’t always what we want to do. Don’t learn the hard way that your first answer is likely the right answer.

3. Make no decisions out of fear, only love.

Fear expressed as anger, unkindness, guilt, or negativity informs others how we see ourselves. Not only does such behavior encourage negativity or fear from others, it also makes us more fearful because we assume that others see us the way we see ourselves. Instead, if we behave with love toward others, it makes us more lovable, it lets others know what they can expect from us, and it lets them know how we wish to be treated.

4. Remember that “I hope” is not a plan.

When making choices, get the facts. Make an informed decision. This way, you are aware of and willing to accept the consequences of your actions. No regrets and no guilt. Hopefully.

5. Share your resources.

Our strengths are gifts to be shared. If we use what we have, not only will we benefit, but those around us will as well. It is when we fight against our strengths, wanting to be something or someone that we’re not, that life becomes difficult. When you discover your greatness, not only will you be good at what you do, but you will be happier doing it. More than that, you will want to share it and yourself with others.

6. Smile even, and especially, when you don’t feel like it.

It really does take more effort to be angry and sour than to be pleasant. The nice thing about that is, every smile you give away comes right back to you. That alone will make you feel better.

7. Increase your expectations, decrease your excuses.

My dad used to say, “The only time I was wrong was when I thought I was wrong.” If you believe that what you want is possible, you will not let the inevitable obstacles deter you. When these obstacles do take us from our course, it means only that our priorities have shifted. But that is no one’s fault. We just have to admit that we chose not to do A, but chose B instead. That is us making a decision to move in another direction. That is not failure. That, to me, is life. No excuse necessary.

8. Know the limits of your control.

This is a big one for me. I am slowly learning that I don’t know as much as I think I do. But I do know that despite me, things really do go as they should.

9. Believe in miracles.

Miracles really do happen. But not necessarily the way you may think. I have to quote the author Marianne Williamson on this one. “To ask for another relationship, or another job, is not particularly helpful if we’re going to show up in the new situation exactly as we showed up in the last one.”

And “It’s never really a circumstance that needs to change—it’s we who need to change. The prayer is not for God to change our lives, but rather for Him to change us.”

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Dawn Klemann, a doctor of psychology, owns PsyD Clinical Solutions in Culpeper. A licensed clinical psychologist and a coaching psychologist, she can be reached at dawn@psydsolutions.com.

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